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U.N. protects South Sudanese refugees

Dec. 20, 2012 at 10:42 AM

WAU, South Sudan, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The United Nations said it has sheltered thousands of civilians seeking refuge from fighting over the movement of a local seat of government in South Sudan.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan said the civilians sought refuge at the base in the country's northwest Wednesday, the U.N. News Center reported.

"There are around 5,000 civilians taking refuge inside the U.N. camp overnight, mostly women and children, and hundreds gathered around the camp for safety," said the spokesperson for the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Kieran Dwyer.

"All are well and will be provided care for as long as necessary," he added.

Protests began last week in the town of Wau, the capital of Western Bahr el-Ghazal state, after officials said they wanted to move the seat of government to the town of Bagare, the U.N. News Center reported.

At least two people have died in the violence, and buildings have also been set on fire. The United Nations has sent peacekeepers and armored personnel carriers to secure the Wau airport, and patrol Wau and nearby settlements.

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