A South Sudanese government spokesman says the country will hold general elections in coming months.

Ateny Wek Ateny said late Wednesday the country will hold elections between May and July.

In May last year South Sudanese President Salva Kiir said the next general election that was originally scheduled to be held in 2015 will be pushed back to 2017 due to continued instability and violence in the country.

Fighting broke out in the oil-rich country about a year ago, pitting Kiir's supporters against former Vice President Reik Machar's followers. Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, accused Machar, an ethnic Nuer, of trying to oust him in a coup.

Tens of thousands of people have died and 1.9 million more have been displaced by warfare in the young nation, the United Nations says.