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    Over 7,000 face starvation in South Sudan

    Over 7,000 face starvation in South Sudan

    Khartoum: Approximately 7,600 displaced families in South Sudan face starvation after humanitarian assistance ran out last May.

    "Individuals affected by the conflict subsist on leaves to stay alive in the Melut county of South Sudan, as humanitarian conditions have worsened for over 7,600 families," Xinhua quoted Deng Kiir, head of the Dethoma camp, as saying on Tuesday.

    Kiir said humanitarian assistance ceased arriving as aid organisations suspended their activities after fighting erupted between government troops and opposition fighters last May.

    He called on the government and humanitarian organisations to provide urgent assistance to the displaced families.

    According to United Nations statistics, two-thirds of South Sudan's 12 million people are in dire need of aid and 4.5 million face severe food shortages.

    The recent military clashes forced thousands of civilians to flee to safe areas and United Nations bases for protection.

    South Sudan secured its independence in 2011. However, it plunged into violent clashes in December 2013 as fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and defectors led by his former deputy Riek Machar.

    The conflict soon grew into an all-out war, with violence taking on an ethnic aspect, pitting the president Dinka's tribe against Machar's ethnic faction.

    The warfare killed thousands of South Sudanese and forced 1.9 million individuals to flee their homes.

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