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UN calls for end to restriction on humanitarian agencies in war-torn South Sudan

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November 30, 2016 (JUBA) United Nations Official for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said aid workers increasingly face "bureaucratic impediments", and called on South Sudanese authorities to ensure unfettered access to the needy in the affected areas.

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The conflict in South Sudan has triggered a humanitarian crisis with 2.3 million people forced from their homes and 4.6 million in need of emergency food (AFP Photo/Tony Karumba)

Eugene Owusu, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan and deputy head of UN mission in the country, said agencies registered more than cases of blockage to aid work in November.

"They (humanitarian organizations) continue to face obstacles and challenges which hamper their efforts. This must stop," said Owusu in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

Such impediments and other bureaucratic constraints, negatively efforts to reach people in need.

Of 91 cases registered between November 1 to November 28, sixty eight were involved violence against humanitarian personnel/assets, while eighteen involved interference in humanitarian action, including interference in administrative matters, illegal or arbitrary taxation expulsion of staff. Humanitarian workers were also denied access to areas outside of Yei, a town witnessing some violence since July, in Central Equatoria and Wau town in Western Bahr El Ghazal, where tens of thousands of people are in need of assistance and protection.

Owusu said steps such President Salva Kiir’s establishment of Humanitarian High-Level Oversight Committee are "appreciative" but more should be done.

“These recent events are a major concern and it is vital that we see the commitments made in high-level fora fully translate into real, tangible and immediate improvements in the operating environment for aid workers on the frontlines of humanitarian action," he said.

Humanitarian needs in South Sudan continue to rise as a result of conflict and economic decline, OCHA said. There are three million people displaced since fighting broke out in December 2013, including 1.9 million who are internally displaced and more than 1.1 million who have fled to neighbouring countries as refugees.

OCHA said it has reached some 4.1 million people in 2016 through various humanitarian organizations with assistance and protection across the country, including in some of the most remote areas. Owusu said the government and opposition should also play their role in washing access to needy people.

“I call on all parties to allow free, safe and unhindered humanitarian access so that our colleagues can reach and assist people whose lives have been torn apart by this crisis. Regardless of where they are in the country, civilians in need have a right to receive help," he added.

(ST)

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  • 30 November 2016 22:28, by Naath

    UN, as long as you partner with Kiir in crimes making against all South Sudanese tribes by covering up and conceal Juba’s genocide of 2013, your work will never be smooth in South Sudan.

    repondre message

    • 30 November 2016 23:36, by Augustino

      Come on now and show us the evidence of genocide you are talking about. Stop talking nonsense in hiding.

      repondre message

    • 1 December 2016 06:14, by Gatluak jal

      Naath, Augustino, both of you are other side of the coined. what I would like to hear from those of you guy is forgiveness. if we are not doing that, than our country will not have a better future for next generation to come. I believe that nobody denying the killing that took place in three states, which is Juba, Malakal, and united state.
      let us hope for the best of our country we all love.

      repondre message

      • 1 December 2016 06:56, by S. Sudan Nationalist

        Gatluak Jal,

        Thank you very much for your comments. I concur with you that it is time for us to express neutral view points necessary for reconciliation to take place. This country is not own by few of us but by all of us. Bravo for these comments.

        repondre message

  • 1 December 2016 06:53, by S. Sudan Nationalist

    This shows mistrust between the government and the UN and other agencies. UN and government should build trust to help the people of South Sudan to overcome the current emergency situation in the country. We also as individuals and groups need to encourage this cooperation among us to support this humanitarian work. This is by creating a conducive atmosphere for their operation.

    repondre message

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