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UN envoy warns over deteriorating security in S. Sudan

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May 11, 2017 (JUBA) - Deteriorating security in parts of South Sudan coupled with increased displacement could worsen the humanitarian suffering in the country through outbreaks of diseases, the United Nations special envoy for the young nation has warned.

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The Special Representative of the U.N Secretary General in South Sudan David Shearer, February 1, 2017 (ST)

David Shearer said in the situation in South Sudan’s Bor-Pibor area was particularly concerning with fears that violent clashes could occur between youths from the Dinka Bor and Murle communities.

“We are worried that might spark more widespread fighting between those two communities [and] hence the reason we are providing support to the peace efforts on the ground,” said Shearer.

“The important thing is that we de-escalate tensions and provide an opportunity to talk rather than to fight because fighting only will result in a greater cycle of revenge [that] will be of no benefit to [anyone],” he added.

The U.N mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) head expressed concerns on the violence in various parts of the country, including attacks on peacekeepers and relief personnel, which, he said, have severely affected operations of humanitarian workers in the war-torn nation.

“The attacks have a direct consequence on humanitarian activities and the assistance that can be provided to people who desperately need it,” he stressed.

Shearer, also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General praised the work of journalists and humanitarian actors on the ground who, despite considerable challenges, is reaching thousands across the country with much-needed assistance.

“I think we owe them a real debt of gratitude,” he emphasised.

South Sudan has witnessed renewed clashes between forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) backing the country’s former First Vice-President Riek Machar, in spite of the August 2015 peace agreement.

Up to 50, 000 civilians in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region are at imminent risk of human rights violations as government troops close in, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein recently warned.

(ST)

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