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New study puts South Sudan civil war death toll over 380,000

Kids standing next to one another with guns resting on the ground.
Child soldiers in South Sudan. Photo: Stefanie Glinski/AFP/Getty Images

A new State Department-funded study found that at least 382,000 people have been killed in South Sudan's grueling civil war, two years after UN officials estimated the total death toll to be around 50,000, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: The deputy chief of mission at Washington's South Sudanese Embassy told The Post that the new number is "not accurate," and he believes the death toll is "less than 20,000." But those that worked on the study say the estimate is conservative, highlighting the geopolitical challenges surrounding keeping accurate death counts. For example, the New York Times reported earlier this year that the UN last estimated the number of people killed in Syria in 2016, and "advocates worry that the conflict with simply grind on indefinitely" without a correct tally.