Aid Agencies Gain Access as Violence in Pibor County Increases

Juba, 14 July 2013: “Today aid agencies reached for the first time this year areas of Pibor county, Jonglei, where thousands of civilians have been hiding in the bush following clashes between state and non-state actors. Non-governmental organisations and UN agencies have met communities near Dorain, Fertait & Labrab to assess their needs and mount a humanitarian response, including urgently needed medical attention, in addition to ongoing programmes in other parts of the state.

At the same time, an armed mobilization of youth has led to clashes elsewhere in the county. Some 200 casualties have arrived in Manyabol and are being attended to by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The UN, including its Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) and World Health Organization, is accessing Manyabol and evacuating the most critically injured to Bor where medical personnel from non-governmental organisations are ready to treat the wounded.

I call on the government of South Sudan, national, local and traditional leaders of all communities in Jonglei urgently to halt the cycle of violence that is leading to senseless loss of life and suffering amongst civilians. At the same time, all parties partaking in violence must ensure that aid organizations continue to have impartial, unconditional and unhindered access to civilians in need throughout the state.”

For more information, contact:

Michelle Delaney, Public Information Officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in South Sudan (delaneym@un.org / +211922 406078)

Tapiwa Gomo, Head of Communication, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in South Sudan (gomo@un.org / +211 922406079)

The Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan can be followed on twitter.com/tobylanzer or @tobylanzer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.