FILE PHOTO: South Sudanese children released by armed groups attend a ceremony in the western town of Yambio, South Sudan February 7, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Dumo/File Photo
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Civil war erupted in South Sudan, the world's youngest nation, created in 2011 when it gained independence from Sudan, after clashes in 2013 between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and others supporting his former deputy Riek Machar.The violence, including gang rapes and attacks on civilians, has forced a third of the country's 12 million people to flee their homes. These "Protection of Civilians" (PoC) sites were intended as temporary refuges, said Rob Simpson, country director for aid agency ACTED who manages three such camps.The United Nations runs six civilian protection sites across the country, housing more than 200,000 people.In the past five years, four of the camps have been attacked by armed mobs, resulting in more than 180 deaths, according to the London-based Overseas Development Institute.About 19,000 minors are still being used by armed forces and groups in South Sudan, according to the United Nations.The situation in the PoCs is worse in other parts of South Sudan, said ACTED's Simpson."In Juba, there's a fear it could go the same way," he said.International aid agencies are struggling to assist displaced people as they would in camps elsewhere, said Simpson.
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