July 4, 14 (BOR) – The government of South Sudan’s Jonglei state announced on Friday that it had severed ties with the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) over allegations it had denied food to civilians in the government-controlled county of Ayod.
- State minister for information Jodi Jonglei Boyoris speaks to the press in the capital, Bor (ST)
Jodi Jonglei, the state minister for information, claimed OCHA refused to cooperate with government, accusing the latter of having “a good link” with rebels.
He said the state government would reverse its agreement with the UN agency.
“Ayod was actually denied humanitarian aid, food has not been taken to Ayod, simply because it was controlled by the government, and others say it is very risky,” said Jonglei.
“OCHA does not want to go to Ayod where the commissioner is but [instead] to places of the rebels,” he added.
When pro-government forces fully took control of Ayod three months ago, some civilians moved to stay in town while others remained in the rebel-controlled parts of the county.
OCHA is alleged to have provided food to civilians in the rebel-controlled, yet ignoring those within Ayod town, which currently comprises of more than 10,000 people.
Ayod county commissioner Michael Buoth Malual described the conditions as “quite difficult” for civilians due to lack of food.
“People are suffering and they need humanitarian assistance,” Malual told reporters in state capital Bor.
Malual claimed OCHA took the “wrong advice” from his predecessor, who allegedly said no civilians were residing in Ayod town.
OCHA did not immediately respond to the claims by state officials.