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U.N chief says South Sudan government ignoring famine

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March 23, 2017 (JUBA) – The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has accused South Sudan government of showing less concerns about the estimated 100,000 people suffering from famine.

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António Guterres (UN photo)

7.5 million people, aid agencies say, are in need of humanitarian assistance and thousands flee fighting in South Sudan.

Guterres, while addressing the Security Council, said President Salva Kiir’s leadership has failed to acknowledge the crisis in the war-torn nation and thus showed no willingness to end the ongoing crisis.

“The conflict in South Sudan continues to generate profound suffering,” he said.

“On the contrary, what we hear most often are denials – a refusal by the leadership to even acknowledge the crisis or to fulfill its responsibility to end it,” he added.

Guterres underscored the need to ensure unrestricted humanitarian access, including freedom of movement for UNMISS and a future Regional Protection Force, which was authorized by the Security Council in August 2016.

“But no such force, and no amount of diplomacy, can substitute for the lack of political will among those who govern the country,” said Guterres.

“If there is to be any hope of those leaders changing their current calculations, greater pressure is needed. This means first and foremost that the region and the Security Council must speak with one voice,” he added.

The senior U.N official accused South Sudan army (SPLA) and the opposition of conducting military operations in a number of areas, with devastating consequences for civilians, who face seemingly endless violence and are being forced to flee their homes.

He specifically cited the “alarming” situation especially in the South Sudan’s Greater Upper Nile area, with military clashes along the banks of the River Nile in and around Malakal, in the famine-affected counties of Unity, and in previously stable areas of Jonglei.

In the past three months, he said, the Greater Equatoria region also continued to see high levels of fighting and insecurity, with retaliatory operations by the SPLA and its allied militias against suspected rebel groups and the communities perceived to support them.

“Civilians continue to be subjected to horrendous attacks, including rape and the recruitment of children,” said the Secretary General.

More than 1.9 million people are displaced internally, more than 220,000 of whom are seeking safety in protection sites of the U.N mission in South Sudan while some 1.6 million people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

“The humanitarian crisis continues to deepen,” said Guterres, highlighting the plight of more than 100,000 facing starvation.

But South Sudan’s deputy ambassador to the world body, Joseph Moum Malok said government was not responsible for the famine declared in part of the young nation and blamed in on drought.

He, however, said the South Sudanese leadership would spare no efforts to help address the situation and called upon members of the international community to help address this urgent matter.

Although the U.N has a 12,000-strong peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, the Security Council, last year, approved an additional 4,000 peacekeepers from the region to help protect civilians in the aftermath of clashes that occurred in the capital, Juba in July, 2016.

Guterres said the UN continues to work for the deployment of the regional force and restoration of the peace process, but he stressed that “no such force, and no amount of diplomacy, can substitute for the lack of political will among those who govern the country.”

“There is a strong consensus that South Sudanese leaders need to do more to demonstrate their commitment to the well-being of the country’s people, who are among the poorest in the world,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, Guterres welcomed President Kiir’s intention to hold a national dialogue, but said the initiative is “not convincing in the context of ongoing hostilities”, citing the absence of consultation with key stakeholders, the systematic curtailment of basic political freedoms and restrictions on humanitarian access and the growing fragmentation of both sides of the South Sudanese conflict.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and nearly two million displaced in South Sudan’s worst ever violence since independence in July 2011.

(ST)

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  • 24 March 09:13, by Kush Natives

    – The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has accused South Sudan government of showing less concerns on the estimated 100,000 people suffering from famine.
    7.5 million people, aid agencies say, are in need of humanitarian assistance and thousands are fleeing fighting in South Sudan.
    a) true or false?
    b) who will be blame, U.N OR rebel?

    repondre message

    • 24 March 11:17, by Dengda

      @ Kush Native, lets be realistic about the fact. You are unrealistic kind of person, I ever got. you were finger pointing at Ban Ki- Moon and I told you numerous time that, UN is not person show. Are you enjoying suffering of innocent civilians or killing of your brother because of few seats or what? Nuer, Equatorians and chollo are not enemies but brothers. I am Dinka and I believe we failed.

      repondre message

      • 24 March 14:22, by Tilo

        Dear Dengda;

        To rectify a problem the first thing is to acknowledge that we have a problem and yet our biggest issue is we don’t want to admit.
        I wish more of us could understand like you do, so that we can get to the bottom of our political solution.
        South Sudan will never be a country without Dinka, Nuer, Equatorians and the rest of the communities. All of us together made a country call SS

        repondre message

      • 24 March 17:04, by Kush Natives

        Dengda,
        What did I said wrong or denied while I was just repeating the statements from U.N. General Secretary? What will be the benefits of this, if Kiir is to be blamed for everything that we caused? If there was no rebellion in the country, who do think would have suffered from famine? This happened because farmers are in threats in their farms from an illegal arms. If Riek didn’t cause this, t

        repondre message

    • 24 March 12:58, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Yes that is correct, The United Nations secretary General mentioned the true statement.

      repondre message

    • 24 March 13:11, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      The UN chief initially should blame Riek Machar., in the first place for such trouble in South Sudan.

      repondre message

  • 24 March 09:43, by Tilo

    Government doesn’t care about the citizen they rather wish bad for the citizen.
    There is no government in SS,
    The current leader do not want peace, they prefer chaos to loot the country resources

    repondre message

    • 24 March 10:42, by Joyuma John

      Dear Tilo,
      you are the people who bringing in so much confusion, if no government, then why do you people make UN SG waste must of his time on Salva Kiir as president, let him call another person a president of the republic, so that he should lift a blame so far, what matters here,if you have allowed war to happen civilians always suffer the consequences, abandon rebellion peace shall come.

      repondre message

      • 24 March 11:00, by Tilo

        Joyuma John,

        This crisis started long time ago, there was early signs of famine and so forth. If there is government, What did the government do to control the situation? Why is government blocking humanitarian access to affected areas? Why is government buying more weapons than preparing to response to the famine? What has government done to support the cleared Famine so far?
        You need to reason

        repondre message

    • 24 March 13:04, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      The government of South Sudan is engaged by country wider rebellion by who ever carrying a gun against the government under president Kiir,
      Mr. kiir shouldn’t be blamed on that trouble, it is a army groups in the new nation must be responsible for such a disaster.

      repondre message

  • 24 March 10:28, by Dalta Cirea

    The united Nations Secretary General , Antonio Guterres has aroused South Sudan Government of showing Less concerns about the estimated 1oo,oo people suffering from Famine.

    Government Plan is to kill and finish non Dinka in South Sudan and used their tribe men to carry out their plan achieve their goals as to rule South Sudan for the next 100 years.Now it will be opposite. time is coming.

    repondre message

  • 24 March 10:41, by Edu 2017

    Really I can see that the leader of the country dont care about their people, they are only after self interest

    repondre message

  • 24 March 13:08, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    UN must take responsibility to execute all the army’s group in the country to arrest them by authorizing the government of any country to arrest all those carrying illegal arms.

    repondre message

    • 24 March 15:22, by Eastern

      Ayuiu,

      How can the UN do that? When your relative in government are fond of mobilising your villagefolks to demonstrate in Juba and Wau that South Sudan doesn’t need the UN. Kiir still has that mentality of a guerilla fighter where he operated in near reclusion of Dr. Garang....where everything is secritive and bad acts are denied....

      repondre message

  • 24 March 15:17, by aborigin

    We have famine in Somalia, Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia do we have the government to blame on this as well??, Mr Ladsous could have talked of neglected roles by the government to mitigate famine in the country instead of squarely blaming govt it doesn’t make the report comprehensive.

    repondre message

    • 24 March 15:18, by aborigin

      I mean Mr Guteres not Ladsous

      repondre message

    • 25 March 02:04, by Malakal county Simon

      Aborigin

      What did so called government did to avoid the looming famine so that we know...... Rather than rejecting peace and busy buying big guns to kills her own citizens each day just for the sake of power?? Kiir must be held accountable for committing war crime and crime against humanity!!!!

      repondre message

  • 24 March 15:25, by Eastern

    SPLM/SPLA are the worst entities to govern a country! During the war, famine, dieseases, deaths (in frontlines) where denied ostiensibly to "keep the morals of the fighters high". Now what’s there to hide that affects the common populace....? SPLA/SPLM is a bunch of disaster awaiting to happen!

    repondre message

    • 24 March 16:36, by lino

      South Sudan Amb. Moum is talking about drought while we saw floods in most of South Sudan Regions.
      Insecurity was the problem of not planting all these 4 years of war... Let admit it!!!

      repondre message

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