December 26, 2013 (RUMBEK) – Authorities in South Sudan’s Lakes state want assistance provided to over 40,000 displaced people who fled fighting in neighbouring Jonglei state and settled within its territories.
- Hundreds of people displaced by fighting in Bor town, Jonglei state Decmber 21, 2013 (Photo: Larco Lomayat)
The incident came in the wake of violent clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and anti-governmental forces, which started from the country’s capital, Juba on 15 December.
A number of senior politicians, mainly ex-ministers, have been detained in connection with what government says was a failed coup attempt by forces loyal to its former vice-president Riek Machar.
Phillip Kot Job, a South Sudan Relief Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) official in the state, called upon the central government and humanitarian organisations to quickly respond to the plight of those internally displaced in Guol-yar of Awerial county.
“The situation is very critical and urgent assistance to internally displaced persons is needed”, he said Thursday.
According to Kot, people displaced from Bor, the Jonglei state capital crossed River Nile in large numbers.
“These people, most of them women and children, are now just under the trees, they have no shelters. And they are drinking water direct from the river which is contaminated”, he explained.
At least 26 children, South Sudan Red Cross reported, died as people fled fighting in Bor town into Lakes state, since last week.
“Seven children drowned on Tuesday night after falling into the river during an attempted crossing from Bor to Guol-yar, a village within Awerial county of Lakes state”, David Gai Deer, Red Cross Jonglei branch director, told Sudan Tribune.
The other 19, he said, died from Diarrhea.
"They don’t have shelter because they ran away with not even an item. So they really have nothing and are facing shelter problem, food problem and medicine, which are real priorities”, he stressed.
Over 30,000 internally displaced persons, official said, are currently stationed in Guol-yar with more expected to arrive by boat from Bor.
The United Nations said on Wednesday that aid agencies will need US$166 million in order to address the humanitarian needs of South Sudanese people affected by the violence of the last 10 days.
This funding would enable the UN and its humanitarian partners to provide for South Sudanese who have been newly displaced and the 200,000 Sudanese refugees who have fled from violence north of the border until March next year.