A U.S. journalist was killed in South Sudan on Saturday during clashes between government and rebel troops in Yei River state, the State Department confirmed.
“We can confirm that U.S. citizen Christopher Allen died in South Sudan on August 26, 2017 while working as a journalist. We express our condolences to Mr. Allen’s family,” it said in a statement. “The Embassy stands ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for Mr. Allen’s family, we have no further comment at this time.”
According to South Sudan’s state broadcaster, Allen was one of 19 people killed during the deadly clash.
South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 following accusations by President Salva Kiir that his then-deputy Riek Machar was plotting to overthrow his government. Machar denied the allegations but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.
The war has killed thousands and displaced millions. The United Nations earlier this month estimated that the conflict had left 1.89 million people internally displaced, while another 1.97 million were refugees in neighboring countries.
A peace deal that was signed in 2015 has continually been violated by the warring factions.
Earlier this year, the UN ranked the country as Africa’s biggest refugee problem, and third worldwide after Syria and Afghanistan.
6 million people in South Sudan are reported as being “severely food insecure” mainly due to the conflict in the country.