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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid