UN calls on South Sudan’s parties to protect civilians amid fresh fighting

UN Headquarters, New York
UN Headquarters, New York

New York, (IINA) : The United Nations called on all parties in South Sudan to shoulder their responsibility in protecting civilians, amidst fresh fighting that has displaced tens of thousands of people in multiple locations across the country.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, who concluded on Wednesday a three-day mission to crisis-torn South Sudan, voiced serious concern at the humanitarian situation in the country and in particular the violence against civilians, as well as attacks against aid workers, which is hampering efforts to respond to the needs of the people affected by the fighting.

“I am outraged by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed against civilians, including by members of the armed forces,” O’Brien said in a statement following his press conference in Juba, calling for swift and decisive action to halt these abuses and hold the perpetrators accountable.

O’Brien’s visit came as the situation in South Sudan has worsened after fighting broke out three weeks ago in and around the capital, Juba, between rival forces backing President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar.

According to the UN, the humanitarian situation in South Sudan is catastrophic. More than half of the population – some 6.1 million people – are in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated 4.8 million people are severely food insecure across the country, with a quarter of a million children facing severe acute malnutrition.


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