28 August 2014

Sudan: UN Suspends All Flights to S. Sudan's Oil-Rich Town

Juba — The United Nations has suspended all flights to South Sudan's Unity state capital after its cargo helicopter crashed early this week killing three Russian crew members.

The move, the world body said, will impact on the provision of life-saving assistance to over 46,600 people seeking safety at its peacekeeping base in the capital, Bentiu.

Toby Lanzer, the humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan warned of famine, stressing that it might be impossible to prevent the catastrophe in the country this year.

If famine were to happen, it would be towards the end of the year, more likely in early 2015, he said.

"The single biggest cause, if there is famine, is the failure of the political leadership to resolve the current crisis," stressed the top UN official.

Nearly 1.5 million people have been displaced by the conflict that broke as a result of political wrangles within the country's ruling party (SPLM) late last year.

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