JUBA - Hundreds of civilians have sought refuge at a UN mission in South Sudan to flee shooting and clashes between police and armed youth, the United Nations and residents said on Thursday.
South Sudan won independence from Sudan last year but the government has been struggling to assert control over a country the size of France that is awash with arms after decades of civil war with the north.
Last week, South Sudan's army shot dead at least nine people in the northern city of Wau who were protesting against the relocating of a local council headquarters, according to the United Nations.
On Wednesday, new clashes broke out between police and residents, witnesses said. Details were unclear but residents said the protest started after six bodies of Dinka tribespeople had been found.
Witnesses said armed Dinka youth set ablaze several buildings in Wau, the capital of Western Bahr El Ghazal state. Police used teargas to disperse the protest, while shooting could be heard, residents said.