President Salva Kiir of South Sudan has declared a three-month state of emergency in four of the country’s states.
According to an order read on the state-run radio station on Tuesday, the State of Emergency covers Gorial and parts of Wau, Tonj and Aweil East states.
It remains unclear what prompted the declaration of the state of emergency, but it may be linked to the presence of opposition fighters in Wau and recent hike in inter-communal violence in Gorial that has killed more 40 people since May.
Under article 189 of the country’s transitional constitution, the president has powers to declare a state of emergency after consulting parliament.
This is the second time the South Sudanese leader is declaring a state of emergency since civil war erupted in late 2013.
In January 2014, Kiir declared state of emergency in the former states of Jonglei and Unity.
South Sudan has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan.
A peace pact signed in Addis Ababa in 2015 under intense international pressure was shattered again following renewed violence between rival government and opposition troops in the capital Juba in July 2016.
The conflict has since spread to other regions which enjoyed relative peace, causing mass displacement of least 3.5 million people from their homes, ethnic polarisation and tribal violence that has killed tens of thousands of people.
South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after political dispute between Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar led to fighting that pitied mostly Dinka ethnic soldiers loyal to Kiir against Machar’s Nuer ethnic group.
The 2015 peace agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016 when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital forcing Machar to flee into exile.