17 October 2017

South Sudan: Aid Workers Under Siege From Rebels

Khartoum — ARMED militants are hindering humanitarian workers' access to millions affected by hunger in war-torn South Sudan. There are at least 5,5 million people estimated to be currently severely food insecure while at least 7,5 million people across the country need humanitarian assistance. This is almost two thirds of the entire population. The South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) said the organisation's partners were struggling to reach people in need. "Our humanitarian partners, the good Samaritans can't reach the people because their access is being blocked," SSCC secretary general, Father James Oyet-Latansio, said. He said gunmen recently shot dead a driver from the International Committee of the Red Cross. "It is getting out of hand. When security is not there, you can't get bread to the needy. They can't be reached," the Catholic priest said. Civil conflict is engulfing Africa's youngest nation since 2014, three years after independence from Sudan. The crisis emanates from a fallout between President Salva Kiir and the-deputy, Riek Machar. The army is split between factions loyal to each leader. Conflict has taken an ethnic dimension with the leaders' Dinka and Nuer against each other. "We need to remember the manmade made crisis which has brought hunger, famine and which has brought displacement," Oyet-Latansio said.

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