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South Sudan denies obstructing humanitarian access

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March 24, 2017 (JUBA) - South Sudanese government said on Friday it has no plans to prevent humanitarian access to civilians in the conflict-affected areas where assistances are required, stressing it provides unhindered access.

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United Nations Security Council meeting which unanimously adopted resolution 2228 (2015) extending the mandate of the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) June 29, 2015 (UN Photo)

“There is no policy preventing humanitarian organisations from delivering assistances to where they are needed. The government, through different institutions and authorities, has never stopped any humanitarian organisation. Instead, the government has always demonstrated willingness to facilitate their movement to areas where their operations are needed,” cabinet affairs minister said Friday.

Minister Martin Elia Lomuro was reacting to reports quoting U.S. officials accusing the government of preventing humanitarian aid workers from reaching to the most affected areas of the war-torn nation. The US equates the suffering famine could "amount to deliberate starvation tactics."

"The famine is not a result of drought, it is the result of leaders more interested in political power and personal gain than in stopping violence and allowing humanitarian access," Deputy U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison told the Security Council.

"The government continued unconscionable impediments to humanitarians seeking access to famine-stricken populations may amount to deliberate starvation tactics," she adds.

Russian Deputy UN Ambassador Petr Illichev reportedly disagreed with the views held by the U.S. diplomat saying the famine was "linked not just to problems with security, but also with extreme weather conditions".

The Security Council said in a presidential statement that it was "deeply concerned about the actions of all parties to the conflict that are perpetuating the humanitarian crisis." However, the language was toned down from a draft that said the crisis was "the result of the actions of all parties to the conflict."

Meanwhile, South Sudan Deputy Ambassador to the UN Joseph Mourn Majak Ngor Malok also rejected accusations that the government was to blame for the famine, claiming "it will spare no efforts to help address the situation and calls upon the international community to assist in addressing this urgent matter."

Observers are keen to stress that the remarks by officials of the new US administration would give an indication of how President Donald Trump’s administration views the crisis in the young nation.

The past administrations of President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama were heavily involved in the birth of South Sudan, which signed a peace accord with Sudan in 2005 and gained independence in 2011.

It is unclear which steps the Trump administration would take to help the young nation stops war and return to peace, stability to pursue development activities.

(ST)

(ST)

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  • 25 March 01:32, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Even after killing thousands of Nuer people in Juba in the presence of people of Juba, the Dinka government has never accepted doing that. Now thousands of non dinka and Dinka alike are doing of famine as a result of war J1 has imposed on people, they still deny what is taking place. The world need to teach J1 manners.

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    • 25 March 01:42, by Malakal county Simon

      Denials after denials is is what often we get from the rogue regime......

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  • 25 March 08:15, by Dengda

    I disagree with the notion that, the famine caused or blame on climate change. South Sudan good raining reason, by the way you can’t cultivated when you are displaced.
    What about people of Yei, Kejo-keji and Marobo who abundant their cultivated crop and left them rotten unharvest in the field after being forcefully displaced by SPLA? lies has short leg and live support.

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  • 25 March 08:44, by bol santino bol kuot

    Dear all,

    let avoid finger point on one other. in fact this famine can not be placed on a person ,however its all of us made + climatic changes in generally and am appeal to all of us to come together and try to sort out the root cause of the war.

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    • 25 March 10:50, by Tecneeq

      Root cause is crystal clear and all agencies have confirmed that the famine in South Sudan is "man made"!

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    • 25 March 13:26, by Malakal county Simon

      Bol Santino

      It’s better to tell the truth and be bless than telling lies.... If the government was not the one to be blame, what did they do as government of the country to stop well known looming famine to stop it from occurring?? Why is it the government was busy buying weapons to kills her own peoples and terrorising them in order to prevent them from cultivation????

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      • 25 March 13:38, by Malakal county Simon

        cont...

        Isn’t it a government strategy to starve the SPLM_IO held territories so that some civilians can move to government held territories?? AS you can see the mentioned 3 point above, don’t you think people’s of South Sudan will point their fingers directly to the government? of-course yes, it’s was a man-made famine by the president who have the power to stop the war. We must accept that..

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  • 25 March 11:09, by Eastern

    The tribal rogue regime in Juba behaves just like the Somali pirates. In collusion with some Eritreans/Ethiopians, some SPLA generals are involved in deforestation of South Sudan to make charcoal for sale in the Arabian Gulf states. This is done without any regards for the environment in Equatoria!!!!!

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  • 25 March 14:58, by Akeen Mangarthon

    I think Famine is even in Juba. As South Sudanese, we are very much aware of famine existence however, It is a mere serious tragedy which had occurred some years back in 1988 in Bhar el Gazal, 1991 in greater Upper Nile and in 1998 again in Bhar el Gazal. Why could UN take it politically instead of proving more funds to elevate people suffering?

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