Jul 22, 6:31 AM EDT

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- More than 26,000 people have fled South Sudan to Uganda this month, says the United Nations refugee agency.

The thousands of South Sudanese have left their country since fighting erupted on July 7 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those supporting Vice President Riek Machar, Andreas Needham, spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, said Friday.

Although an uneasy peace has been established in South Sudan's capital, Juba, the U.N. official said the flow of people leaving the country has continued. More than 90 percent of the new refugees are women and children, he said.

The new refugees report that fighting is continuing in southern South Sudan and that in the Magwi area gunmen are looting properties and recruiting young men and boys, said the U.N. official.

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