South Sudan

S. Sudan rebels warn of humanitarian catastrophe in Unity state

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February 5, 2017 (JUBA) – Members of South Sudan’s armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) have warned of what they described as a humanitarian “catastrophic” in Unity state, if aid workers operating in the area fail to respond to needs of the people affected by war.

The spokesperson for rebels in the area, James Yoach Biding, said Koch, Leer and Rubkotna counties were the areas worst-affected by the current crisis.

According to Yoach, those who fled fighting and sought refuge in the bushes for several months, no longer have access to humanitarian assistance, and this has put their lives at risk of famine.

“If there will be no quick humanitarian intervention, the areas of Koch, Leer and Rubkona counties shall have the worst humanitarian conditions record. You know that since last year, government forces devastated these locations by burning down house, looting properties and destroying health facilities,” he told Sudan Tribune.

Thousands of people, aid agencies say, fled their homes in the aftermath of clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those allied to the country’s former First Vice-President, Riek Machar.

Yoach said those displaced by fighting lacked food, medicine and other essential items and have now been surviving on wild fruits and leaves for months in the bush.

Members of the armed opposition are now appealing for quick humanitarian intervention especially in remote areas before the situation is out of control.

(ST)