News / Africa

UN, Aid Officials Plead for End to South Sudan Fighting

Three children walk through a camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
Three children walk through a camp for internally displaced persons at the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, Jan. 9, 2014.
Philip Aleu
United Nations emergency response officials called on the warring sides in South Sudan to stop fighting to alleviate the suffering of the country's people, who are facing extreme hardship as unrest goes into a fourth month and the rainy season looms.

"We appeal to everybody, at every level,  with any influence, with any authority, with any capacity, to help to bring this conflict to an end," John Ging, who oversees field operations around the world for the U.N. Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news conference in Juba.

Ging was part of a team from eight humanitarian agencies -- OCHA, the UN refugee and children's agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization, World  Food Program, World Health Organization, Danish Refugee Council, and International Organization for Migration -- who wrapped up a three-day visit to South Sudan Friday, during which they traveled around the country to assess the needs of hundreds of thousands of displaced people.


Ging said he saw displaced people, mostly women and children, who are going without food in U.N. protection sites and camps under government and rebel control. He called on all parties to the conflict to do something to stop the suffering.

"The people of this country truly deserve a future which is peaceful; a future in which they can build the potential of this country," Ging said.

He warned government and opposition forces to stop looting humanitarian organizations' warehouses and offices, saying it made it more difficult to convince international donors to help South Sudan if they think the aid they give will end up in the hands of looters.

"We are only here to help the people of this country. We cannot raise money internationally for humanitarian action if every time the humanitarian supplies are stolen, the humanitarian vehicles are robbed and so on," he said.

Aid agencies including the World Food Program (WFP) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have reported that their offices, hospitals and warehouses have been looted during the fighting in the country.

Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
x
Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
David Kaatrud of WFP said some aid has been held up at checkpoints that have been set up along roads leading to Jonglei and Unity states, two of the states most heavily impacted by the fighting and the resulting humanitarian crisis.

At least 50 trucks carrying food and supplies are stranded on the roads after being stopped at the checkpoints, which are manned by government forces, he said.

Lives could be saved and suffering alleviated if the trucks were checked quickly and allowed to continue on their way, he said.

Toby Lanzer, OCHA's coordinator for South Sudan, warned that even civilians who have been given shelter from the fighting on U.N. bases face hunger and serious threats to their health.

Early rains that pummeled Juba last week destroyed hundreds of makeshift shelters in one U.N. base in Juba where thousands have sought refuge.

"Here in Juba, you have seen the water, the stagnant water which has health implications. You have seen the situation of the children. So, we are really in a crunch 30-day period now," before the rainy season begins in earnest, Lanzer said.


Once the rains begin, parts of the country become completely inaccessible by road and some of the low-lying areas where IDPs have sought shelter, including U.N. bases in Juba, are likely to be flooded.

The U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is working with the government and Chinese donors to build a third camp for the displaced in Juba.

The new camp, which is expected to be ready by mid-April, will provide better shelter, drainage, sewage structures and other infrastructure than are available on UNMISS bases, where almost 30,000 people have sought refuge since fighting broke out more than three months ago.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Tour Will Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

US secretary of state to visit 5 countries in the Middle East, South Asia in bid to strengthen economic and security ties, ease concerns over deal with Tehran More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jono
March 22, 2014 2:02 AM
John Ging, really you are in Africa and should know that appeals to stop fighting are worthless unless the supply of weaponry is cut off. Please do some research on this instead of words. Sadly however the UN cannot enforce true peace and democracy in a continent riddled with corruption and lawlessness. Nigeria, Rwanda, CAR, and several others are painful examples, not forgetting Uganda (Idi Amin)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs