New York, US - The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said it is in the process of relocating civilians displaced in the country's recent conflict to better shelter ahead of the coming rain season.
A UN official said on Monday that some 706,000 people have been displaced since fighting between pro- and anti-government forces began in mid-December 2013, 77,000 of whom now live in UNMISS bases.
The official said the Mission would be providing protection by escorting buses transporting internally displaced people between its Tomping Compound in the capital, Juba, and the UN House.
UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric, who spoke with UN reporters, said: 'The Mission says that the congestion of sites, compounded by the coming rains, remains a major challenge.
'The Mission is seeking to expand sites in Malakal, Bentiu, Bor and Juba and it is also creating new areas for civilians to seek safety in Juba and Bor.'
The spokesperson disclosed that ten days ago, the first major rainstorm of the season caused flooding and destroyed or damaged hundreds of tents in an UNMISS base in Juba.
'The tents were able to be fixed and there were no reports of injured civilians and the UN and its partners are working to develop ways to mitigate the risks of flooding and associated health and safety concerns, ' Mr. Dujjaric added.