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UNMISS chief discusses transit of humanitarian aid with Sudan

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June 25, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s vice-president, Hassabo Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, discussed on Wednesday with the outgoing chief of UN Mission South Sudan (UNMISS), Hilde Johnson, the transit of humanitarian assistance through Sudanese territory.

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The head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Hilde Johnson (Photo: Getty Images)

Sudan’s official news agency (SUNA) quoted Johnson as saying following the meeting that the UN relies heavily on Sudan to deliver humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan, besides contributing to resolving the ongoing conflict in the newborn state.

The UNMISS head added the armed conflict in South Sudan led to the suffering of many people due to violence and chaos, adding that 1.3 million people have been displaced outside of their areas.

We rely heavily on Sudan to deliver humanitarian assistance to the affected population through land, river and air transport, she said.

The UN official further noted that she paid several visits to South Sudan neighbouring countries in this regard, considering Sudan the most important country to South Sudan.

She pointed that her meeting with the vice president discussed the humanitarian assistance and the need for establishing airlift and other channels between Sudan and South Sudan to deliver aid to the needy.

UN officials say with the upcoming rainy season, the delivery of humanitarian aid via road and river is no longer reliable option, stressing that the new country has a very poor transportation infrastructure.

The war affected states in South Sudan are: Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states. All can easily be reached from the northern neighbour.

Johnson also praised Sudanese government role in the IGAD led mediation between warring parties in South Sudan, saying it can play a significant role in the search for a solution to the six-month crisis.

Johnson underscored that the vice-president expressed Sudan’s commitment to facilitate her mission, expressing hope that Sudan plays major role in helping its newborn neighbouring country.

The humanitarian situation in South Sudan has deteriorated drastically as result of the violence that erupted in the country since 15 December 2013.

UN agencies estimate that, over 1,3 million people have been affected by the conflict and are in need of assistance.

According to a recent report issued by the World Food Program (WFP) on the regional impact of South Sudan crisis, more than 86,000 South Sudanese have arrived in Sudan since mid-December.

The WFP report noted that relocation of South Sudanese refugees to the three sites in White Nile state is complete, warning these sites may not be sufficient if the situation deteriorates further and the influx continues.

It added that Sudanese authorities are in the process of identifying two additional sites to resettle new arrivals, projecting that 165,000 new refugees from South Sudan will have arrived by the end of 2014.

Sudanese government reports also mention that some 22,700 people are in Khartoum state. The newcomers join their relatives who stay in open areas in the Sudanese capital, as well other areas on the city outskirts.

(ST)

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