Recent clashes in the Abyei region of Sudan have some experts worried that the country may face another war.

Thousands have already fled violence that resulted from conflict between factions in the northern and southern portions of the war-torn country, Voice of America said.

Fighting erupted when Sudan troops marched into Abyei during the week of May 16, where 110,000 people lived before unrest began, Voice of America said. Northern forces gained control of the region, which prompted backlash from the South. Abyei has since been patrolled by United Nations forces, with only a few residents left in the area.

Jambe Omari Jumbe, the spokesperson for the International Organization for Migration, told Voice of America that it is difficult to estimate the number of people who have been displaced.

“Many of them are still on the move and some of them are actually hiding in the bushes. But, according to some estimates…we know that between 20,000 and 30,000 people are actually on the move. Many are in need of food and water; and with recent heavy rains, may be vulnerable to water-borne disease and infections,” Jumbe said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the hospital in Abyei has been out of operation due to the unrest. Staff members have fled the area and gone to the southern Sudanese town of Agok.

In July 2008, health relief efforts were sent to the area of Abyei after 70 percent of the houses in the town were destroyed during fighting, according to the WHO. United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations were targeted, and offices were looted and destroyed in the fighting.

As then, residents trying to survive the current conflict have rummaged through the offices of humanitarian organizations in search of emergency relief items, the United Nations said.