South Sudan

Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan condemns the latest violence against civilians, women and humanitarian personnel

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High-level mission to Bentiu and Malakal highlights the dire situation of affected people

(Juba, 25 April 2022) The women of South Sudan plea for peace as they narrated to the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan how insecurity, rape, lack of livelihood opportunities and education are impacting their daily lives.

On 22 April and 23 April, the Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Ms.Sara Beysolow Nyanti led a high-level mission to Bentiu, Unity State, and Malakal, Upper Nile State, to assess people’s humanitarian situation on the ground and meet with people impacted by the ongoing violence and natural disasters. Members of the high-level delegation listened as women highlighted their daunting experience of gender-based violence, health issues, and the lack of education. “We are being raped, harassed, we have no livelihoods, no opportunities, girls can’t go to school. Our tears are for peace. This is not the life we chose,” shared the displaced women.

“I condemn in strongest terms the ongoing violence in Leer County, Unity State, and the conflict tensions across South Sudan. The surge in fighting in April has resulted in widespread devastation, with numerous people reported killed, wounded, women abducted and raped; homes burned, and properties looted. These atrocities happened at the time when humanitarians are responding to mitigate suffering as a result of rains and standing water from the 2021 floods as well as preparedness activities to mitigate the impact of the oncoming rains and projected flooding,” said Ms. Nyanti.

“The violence claimed lives of innocent civilians. We mourn the loss of a staff member of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) who was killed in Leer earlier this month while trying to flee a violent attack on his community. I convey my deepest condolences to his family and his colleagues. This tragic loss of life of those who commit to save other people’s lives is unacceptable.”

“I call upon all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law and immediately cease targeting civilians, women, humanitarian personnel and their assets. Continuation of violence hampers the delivery of humanitarian services to the most vulnerable, especially women, children, elderly and disabled people, and deteriorates further their already dire situation. It increases the number of those in dire need of humanitarian assistance, and we do not have the funds to reach those already in need,” stated Ms. Nyanti.

Some 6.8 million of the most vulnerable people in South Sudan will need urgent life-saving assistance and protection in 2022. Currently, the humanitarian response plan is funded only at eight per cent.

Please find enclosed the link to the press release.

To learn more about humanitarian access in South Sudan, see the access snapshots of 2021 here: First: https://bit.ly/3dZQtGw; Second: https://bit.ly/3hBasNB; and Third: https://bit.ly/3xWV4BD; 2021 Humanitarian Access Overview: https://bit.ly/3NlyppX

For further information, please contact: Iramaku Vundru Wilfred, Reporting Officer, vundru@un.org
Krasimira Antimova, Public Information Officer, antimova@un.org
Susan Le Roux, Deputy Head of Office leroux@un.org
OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org/south-sudan or www.reliefweb.int.

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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