Aid agencies need to $166M to save lives in South Sudan: UN
In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, a displaced woman stands by her washing at the UN compound where she has sought shelter in Bentiu, in oil-rich Unity state, in South Sudan. (AP Photo/UNMISS, Anna Adhikari)
Published Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:29AM EST
KAMPALA, Uganda -- The United Nations humanitarian office says aid agencies need $166 million to save lives amid continuing violence in South Sudan.
Some 45,000 people have taken refuge in and around UN bases in the country and 81,000 people have fled their homes as a result of fighting that has raised fears of a civil war in the world's newest country.
The United States, Norway and Ethiopia are leading efforts to open peace talks between President Salva Kiir and the political rivals he accuses of mounting a coup.
Violence began spreading across South Sudan after a fight among the presidential guards on Dec. 15, pitting soldiers from Kiir's Dinka ethnic group against those from the Nuer ethnic group of former Vice-President Riek Machar.
The UN is investigating reports of mass killings.