Senseless cycle of violence in South Sudan must end: UN
July 27, Khartoum: Amid massive displacement and “horrendous atrocities,” civilians continue to bear the brunt of South Sudan‘s brutal conflict, the top United Nations relief official underscored, as he urged all parties, including the leaders of the warring factions, to “listen to their people,” lay down their arms and halt the rapidly spiralling humanitarian crisis.
“I am deeply shocked by what I have seen. Innocent civilians are bearing the brunt of this brutal war,” said Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, as he wrapped up a four-day visit to South Sudan, which earlier this month, marked the fourth anniversary of its independence amid ongoing violence and deprivation.
During his mission, O’Brien, who is also the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, met with humanitarian partners, Government officials and the diplomatic community, and visited communities affected by the conflict in Juba, the capital, and Unity state.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination Of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which O’Brien heads, the humanitarian consequences of the nearly 20-month long conflict in South Sudan are grave: Some 4.6 million people are severely food insecure, with a quarter of a million children at risk from rapidly worsening nutrition.
Massive displacement continues – over two million people, half of whom are children –have fled their homes. This includes some 1.6 million people displaced inside South Sudan and almost 600,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.
The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2015 is currently only 42 per cent funded, leaving a gap of nearly $1 billion dollars, according to OCHA.
The UN Security Council marked the fourth anniversary of South Sudan‘s independence by expressingprofound disappointment in South Sudan‘s leaders for putting their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people, sparking months of politically motivated violence that has left thousands dead and caused a “man-made…catastrophe.”
The Oslo Times