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Irish aid staff in hiding as South Sudan fighting rages

By Jane O’Faherty

Published 11/07/2016

There has been renewed fighting in South Sudan
There has been renewed fighting in South Sudan

Three Irish aid workers are in lockdown in South Sudan following the outbreak of violence in the nation’s capital over the weekend.

The three people work for Concern, which says it has “huge” worries for its 260 staff currently in the war-torn country.

It is believed that 272 people have been killed since clashes between rival factions began again on Thursday.

Two Irish staff are outside of the South Sudanese capital of Juba and are not believed to be in immediate danger.

But Concern’s country director for South Sudan, Feargal O’Connell, from Dublin, said he and some of his colleagues have been forced to stay inside their Juba office since the conflict escalated on Friday.

“Not so long ago, there was a helicopter gunship overhead and we heard two explosions, followed by intense small arms fire,” he said.

Many of the charity’s staff there are hiding out in their homes, their workplaces and anywhere they think is safe.

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