April 16, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudan president Salva Kiir Mayardit told security ministers Wednesday to stop searching relief convoys delivering food to internally displaced persons in response to a query raised by humanitarian agencies.
Speaking at the launch of South Sudan’s National Food Security Council, the head of UN World Food Program (WFP) in South Sudan complained that a convoy heading to Yida refugee camp was searched with the driver and made to pay a total of 16,000 South Sudanese pounds at numerous check points.
President Kiir, responding to the plea by WFP to end the “unnecessary delays”, told defence minister Kuol Manyang Juuk and minister of national security Mamut Mete, who were present at the launch, to halt the search of relief vehicles.
“When you block the relief convoy and then you demand for anything that means you derail relief work completely and nobody will be saved,” he said.
The UN says that 4.9 million people in South Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance. Over one million people have been displaced by the conflict which began in December.