GENEVA- The United Nations said on Friday it feared further clashes between Sudan and South Sudan and was working hard to move 20,000 refugees further away from the growing insecurity along the border.
South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July, becoming the world's youngest country after a referendum on independence that concluded a peace process ending decades of civil war.
The two countries have since traded regular accusations of supporting insurgencies on each other's territory. Their armed forces clashed at Jau in a region claimed by both sides on Wednesday in a rare direct confrontation, which followed air strikes by the Khartoum government's forces last month.
"We are very concerned that some 20,000 refugees who are located at the border between South Sudan and Sudan in (South Sudan's) Unity State are increasingly at risk as fighting rages...." Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing.
Military confrontations in the border area of Jau have not hit Yida refugee settlement just several kilometers away, "but there are huge fears of attack and these fears have driven many of the refugees who are located there into the bush", she said.