The United Nations has moved combat troops to a South Sudan town to prevent an attack amid mounting inter-ethnic violence triggered by cattle raids, the BBC reported.
A battalion of UN troops has moved to Pibor, a town in Jonglei state, to prevent an attack by the Lou Nuer ethnic group on the rival Murle group, the BBC said.
The UN said a large group of Lou Nuer men preparing for an attack were spotted during air patrols. Tens of thousands of Murle people have fled Pibor, fearing violence.
More from GlobalPost: South Sudan: wrestling for peace
An estimated 1,000 people, mostly women and children, have died in ethnic clashes in Jonglei state in recent months, according to the UN.
The tensions in Jonglei, which borders Ethiopia, have been fueled by cattle raids and demands for bridal dowries, UPI said.
The UN this week urged South Sudan's government to protect civilians.
“I am deeply concerned to learn of reports of this imminent large-scale attack on civilians in Jonglei state,” Hilde F. Johnson, the UN Secretary-General's special representative for South Sudan, said in a statement. “The government must act now if we are to avert a major tragedy.”
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in July, after years of civil war that left more than 1.5 million people dead.
More from GlobalPost: South Sudan "on the brink of war" with Sudan