News / Africa

After Violence, Hunger Kills Hundreds in South Sudan

A rebel fighter carries a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) in a rebel camp in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
A rebel fighter carries a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) in a rebel camp in Jonglei State, Feb. 1, 2014.
Charlton Doki
A county commissioner in South Sudan's Jonglei state has called for urgent help from international aid agencies after he received reports that villagers are dying of starvation in parts of the county.

“The hunger is very severe. People are dying because of the hunger. They have nothing to eat. Even in the shops and the markets, there is nothing that you can buy,” Twic East County Commissioner Dau Akoi Jurkuch said.

Officials in the county are still working to establish the exact number of fatalities from hunger, Jurkuch said.

He blamed the severe food shortages on a combination of flash floods during last year's growing season, which washed away large swathes of edible crops, and the deadly violence that has raked South Sudan for nearly eight weeks

To make matters worse, thousands of people who fled the state capital, Bor, some 75 miles (120 kiklometers) away, as pro- and anti-government forces fought for control of it, headed to Twic East. Aid workers left the area completely as the fighting raged.

Further exacerbating the county's problems, the presence of an anti-government base just outside Twic East has made traders who used to sell food in the county in northern Jonglei state too frightened to travel there.

Jurkuch appealed to humanitarian groups to  return to the region and distribute emergency food rations to save lives.

“I want to appeal to NGOs and humanitarians that have been working in Twic East and also any other humanitarians that can assist this population because of the hunger and any other services that  can be provided,” he said.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 70 percent of Jonglei state's population of 1.7 million, or 1.19 million people, are  severely food insecure.

A map by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) showing the number and percentages of South Sudanese facing severe, acute food insecurity as of the end of January 2014.
A map by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) showing the number and percentages of South Sudanese facing severe, acute food insecurity as of the end of January 2014.


Jurkuch said flood waters from last year still have not fully subsided in some villages in Twic East, posing yet another danger to locals: diseases.

"There are issues of malaria, there are issues of diarrhea, there are issues of common cold," he said.

"There are people who are sick because there are no drugs in the hospitals and there are no drugs in clinics. So people are just staying like wild animals," he said.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Dan Wain from: Kenya
February 09, 2014 9:17 AM
We pray to our immediate neighbors that peace be established in their beloved land and together they will join hands to rebuild S.Sudan.


by: Shadrack kiptui from: Kenya
February 08, 2014 3:40 PM
Iam urging the government from various countries to extent their hands for assistance.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid