South Sudan War Deaths Estimated At 400 000

Destruction is evident in Malakal, once South Sudan's second city but now largely deserted (file photo).

Khartoum — The five-year civil war in South Sudan has killed about 400 000 civilians, which is higher than initially thought.

Around half of the lives have been lost through violence while most deaths occurred in the northeast and southern regions of the country, and appeared to peak in 2016 and 2017.

These are among findings of by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which further established that those killed were mostly adult males but also included women and children.

As of early 2018, the war had caused the displacement of about 2 million people within South Sudan and a further 2,5 million as refugees to neighbouring countries.

Although a Compromise Peace Agreement was signed in August 2015, temporarily leading to shared government, it broke down in July 2016, resulting in the conflict gaining intensity and spreading geographically.

The humanitarian response to this crisis is among the largest worldwide, targeting about 6 million people with a total funding requirement of US$1,7 billion.

"The findings indicate that the humanitarian response in South Sudan must be strengthened and that all parties should seek urgent conflict resolution," authors of the report stated.

Sudan is the world's newest country after gaining independence from Sudan in 2011.

It plunged into civil war two years later after a fallout between its leaders.

It was initially reported 300 000 civilians have been killed during the war and resultant hunger.

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