August 28, 2014 (JUBA) – The United Nations has suspended all flights to South Sudan’s Unity state capital after a helicopter on a routine cargo flight crashed earlier this week, killing three Russian crew members.
The world body said the move would impact on the provision of life-saving assistance to over 46,600 people seeking safety at its peacekeeping base in the capital, Bentiu.
Toby Lanzer, the humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, has warned of a looming famine, stressing that it might be impossible to prevent the catastrophe in the country this year.
If famine were to happen, it would be towards the end of the year, more likely in early 2015, he said.
“The single biggest cause, if there is famine, is the failure of the political leadership to resolve the current crisis,” the top UN official said.
Nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by the conflict that broke as a result of political wrangles within the country’s ruling party (SPLM) late last year.