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

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    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)

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.