News / Africa

UN to Assist Victims of Ethnic Violence in South Sudan

A handout picture released by the UN on January 5, 2012 shows internally displaced persons resting in Pibor, Jonglei state after fleeing the surrounding areas following a wave of bloody ethnic violence.
A handout picture released by the UN on January 5, 2012 shows internally displaced persons resting in Pibor, Jonglei state after fleeing the surrounding areas following a wave of bloody ethnic violence.
Lisa Schlein

The United Nations is launching a massive humanitarian operation in South Sudan's Jonglei state to assist tens of thousands of victims of recent ethnic violence.  Unconfirmed reports say hundreds, if not thousands, of people were killed during an explosion of violence between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes last week.  

A United Nations assessment of Pibor and three other South Sudanese towns affected by last week’s inter-ethnic clashes finds an estimated 50,000 displaced people in urgent need of assistance.  

A spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Elisabeth Byrs, says the needs are significant.  She says all U.N. agencies, including the World Food Program, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the U.N. Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, are on board and are deploying staff and relief items to the affected area.

“The food distribution has started already.  They will increase and continue in the coming days.  All the U.N. agency clusters, I mean by sector -  the health sector, the water and sanitation sector, food sector, shelter sector - now are finalizing a major, rapid response plan, emergency response plan, to address this situation,” Byers said.  

On Thursday, the World Food Program began distributing food to some 2,000 displaced people, mainly women and children, in Boma in the southeastern part of Pibor County.  WFP says it plans to give food rations to another 7,000 people in Pibor town in the coming days.

Last week, about 6,000 young armed men from the Lou Nuer tribe went on a violent rampage in the remote town of Pibor, home to the rival Murle people.  They embarked on their killing spree vowing to exterminate the Murle, whom they accuse of abducting their women and children and raiding their cattle.

The Lou Nuer attackers have inflicted a great deal of damage and destruction.  They have entirely razed one village, burnt many houses to the ground and looted and destroyed a clinic run by the non-governmental organization Doctors without Borders, leaving the local communities stripped of vital medical care.

A UNICEF spokeswoman, Marixie Mercado, says the impact of these attacks on children is devastating.  She says five injured children have been evacuated to the South Sudanese capital of Juba.  One died shortly after arrival.  She says there are reports of nine children having been abducted and confirmed reports of 45 unaccompanied minors.

“Unaccompanied children are extraordinarily vulnerable to abuse and to abduction.  So, the priority for UNICEF and all partners working in protection is to reunify them as quickly as possible with their families… Tens of thousands of civilians, mainly women and children, are still displaced and seeking cover in the dense bush without food or clean water.  Water, sanitation and hygiene are particularly urgent because many of the water sources… were damaged.  WASH (water supply, sanitation and hygiene) supplies are en route and we have nutrition and emergency education supplies also pre-positioned,” Mercado said.  

The United Nations has appealed for $763 million for humanitarian operations in South Sudan this year.  So far, 8 percent of the appeal has been covered.  U.N. agencies are urging donors to contribute more as soon as possible.

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

There are Western concerns Islamic State militants soon may unleash offensive in kingdom that could create upheaval - though nation has solid intel, grip on banking system 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.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
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 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 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 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.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid