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End conflict in Yei, South Sudan political leaders urged

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July 18, 2017 (YEI) - Children suffering from the ongoing violence and poverty in war-torn South Sudan have urged the country’s political leaders to restore peace and stability in South Sudan’s town of Yei.

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South Sudan President Salva Kiir (C) poses for a picture after the government swearing in with his first deputy Riek Machar (R) and second deputy James Wani on 29 April 2016 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

The situation in Yei, located about 150 kilometres south of the capital, Juba is currently dire following last year’s outbreak of the violent conflict.

According to the United Nations, 70% of the population in Yei town fled last year after fierce fighting erupted between government and opposition forces, leaving the largely a “ghost” town.

The ongoing conflict in Yei has prevented cultivating crops because of the ongoing insecurity, murders, abductions, rape, and lootings.

Some children are reportedly remaining in Yei town, including a number of orphans who have sought sanctuary at the Catholic founded Christ the King Primary School.

2 MILLION CHILDREN DISPLACED

Over 2,000 children have been killed or injured, and much more have witnessed horrific violence due to the raging civil war in South Sudan, the U.N Children Fund (UNICEF), said in a new report released on the eve of the country’s independence.

Millions of children in South Sudan, it said, are suffering unthinkable hardships and setbacks in their education, nutrition, and health.

UNICEF released its report ahead of South Sudan’s sixth Independence Day on 9 July.

According to UNICEF, more than two million children have been forced from their homes to escape the fighting in a country with the highest percentage of children out of school, in the world.

South Sudan’s war, sparked when President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup in 2013, has been marked by numerous atrocities against civilians despite the presence of thousands of UN peacekeeping troops.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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