South Sudan Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 6 | 20 April 2017
• Humanitarian Coordinator calls on armed actors to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and ensure the proportionality of their actions.
• Nearly 60 aid workers relocated from Walgak and Waat in northern Jonglei due to intensified armed conflict.
• Cholera spreads to Duk, Ayod and Fangak counties in Jonglei, amidst the longest running outbreak since South Sudan became an independent nation in July 2011.
• Deadly clashes in Pajok, Eastern Equatoria force more than 7,000 people to cross to Uganda in one week.
Jonglei: Thousands flee new clashes
Renewed fighting has caused thousands of people to flee from multiple locations including Waat and Walgak in Jonglei, amidst concerns that clashes may spread to additional areas.
The situation deteriorated in the second week of April, as a government offensive swept through multiple villages, including in areas where fighting previously flared up in late February. Although it has not yet been possible to verify displacement figures due to the fluidity of the situation, preliminary estimates indicate that up to 100,000 people have been affected and displaced, many of whom had previously been displaced during fighting in February which caused thousands of people to flee from Motot and Pulchuol in Uror to Waat, Lankien, Akobo and Ethiopia.
While fighting in Jonglei in 2017 has to date centred in Uror and Nyirol, there are concerns that conflict may also erupt in the Pibor area, where there have been increasing reports of localised clashes since February 2017. There are also concerns that the renewed fighting and displacement may exacerbate food insecurity in Jonglei heading into the lean season, where Nyirol was already expected to face emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity.
Aid workers forced to relocate Nearly 60 humanitarian workers had to relocate from multiple locations including Waat and Walgak in Jonglei on 14 and 15 April – due to intensified conflict in the area. The relocations forced humanitarian organisations to suspend preparations for food drops due to target more than 11,200 people in Nyirol, and disrupted other vital humanitarian programming, including Education, Health, Nutrition and WASH activities. The relocations follow earlier disruptions to humanitarian action in Jonglei when humanitarian assets and supplies were looted by civilians and armed actors during clashes in February.
Speaking during the relocations on 15 April, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Mr. Eugene Owusu, called on the parties to the conflict to uphold their responsibilities under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and ensure the proportionality of their actions. “I am deeply disappointed that, despite the assurances that we have received and the commitments that have been made, humanitarians are again having to relocate, and civilians again being uprooted, in an area where needs were already high,” said Mr. Owusu.
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