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SPLM/A IO slams denial of access for UN humanitarians in South Sudan’s Yei

UNMISS peacekeepers patrols Yei Town on 25 January 2018 (photo UNMISS)

March 11, 2019 (JUBA) - The SPLM/A in Opposition in Yei River State said frustrated with the denial of access by South Sudanese authorities in Yei River State to UN humanitarian coordination agency to assess the needs of civilians in Kupera area.

"The leadership of SPLM/SPLA (IO) in Yei River State registers its disappointment over the reckless and condemnable action of Emmanuel Khamis, Commissioner of Kupera County of violently blocking access to UN OCHA-led assessment mission to Koyoki and Birigo in Lainya County on 06/03/2019," said the SPLM-IO spokesperson in Yei Wayi Godwill Edward.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, Edward said it was the second time that Khamis hinders a humanitarian assessment by the UN OCHA in the same area where live thousands of affected civilians.

"This action is in gross violation of the R-ARCSS and International Humanitarian Law," he emphasized.

The South Sudanese government is accused of attacking the positions of the non-signatory armed groups in the area, hindering humanitarian access and imposing inappropriate taxes on aid workers.

The SPLM/IO spokesperson hailed the efforts of the UN humanitarian staff to reach the war affected civilians despite the threats they are facing during the implementation of their mandate.

He further called on the ceasefire monitoring body, CTSAAM, and the UN Mission in South Sudan "to investigate Emmanuel Khamis for blatantly violating the R-ARCSS and hold him personally accountable".