At least 10 people were killed on Monday in the South Sudanese town of Wau in a fresh wave of violence, with reports indicating that ethnic attackers ransacked houses for people from other ethnic communities.
Residents of the town fled in fear of their lives, leaving its streets deserted and looking ghostly.
Witnesses are reported to have said that the attackers blocked roads leading to a civilian encampment protected by U.N. peacekeepers, making it hard for those fleeing to reach safety.
Reuters reports an official from the United Nations, which has a base in the northwestern town, to say that staff were looking into the situation, without giving further details.
South Sudan has been at war since December 2013, following President Salva Kiir’s allegations that his then-deputy Riek Machar was plotting a coup against his government. Machar refuted these claims but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.
A UN-backed peace deal that was signed in 2015 has continuously been violated by the warring factions, prompting the world organization earlier this year to warn of a possible genocide.
Machar is currently in South Africa where he went to seek medical treatment, but has not been able to get a way back to his country.