Sudan

Southern Sudan: Malteser International fears escalation - Basic services for the population have to be ensured

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Cologne. „The current situation in Southern Sudan is dramatic and there is a high risk for a new outbreak of war," Dr. Georg Nothelle, Head of the Malteser International Africa Department, points out. "Presently, we are preparing emergencies relief measures for the civilian population and are intensifying our internal security guidelines for the protection of our staff members." - Five years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed the country is threatened by a new escalation of violence.

According to the Africa expert a large number of factors is responsible for these developments: „In the year 2010, the first democratic elections in 24 years are scheduled to take place. Additionally, in 2011, a referendum will be hold on the complete independence of Southern Sudan. This implicates political tensions and conflicts between the North and the South. The unrest is aggravated by the poverty in the country, the lack of the expected economic revival as well as by the increasing violence. Furthermore, the impacts of the extreme climatic conditions in the region - drought and flooding - lead to famine and the likelihood of an outbreak of epidemics."

Facing these worries about a flare-up of the war, experts call on the United Nations to take action. In the opinion of Malteser International the only way to achieve a sustainable improvement is to agree on a joint international initiative. With regard to the increasing number of civil victims caused by the conflict and the aggravation of the dire humanitarian situation, the basic services for the population have to be ensured as a matter of priority..

Sudan, the largest country on the African continent, has repeatedly been afflicted by disturbances within the last years. Malteser International has been providing humanitarian assistance in Southern Sudan since 1997 and in Darfur since 2004 with currently 323 local and 18 international staff members.

Attention editors: Dr. Georg Nothelle is available for interviews (Contact: +49-(0)221/9822-155).

Join our network of relief and donate:

Donation Account 2020122; Pax-Bank Köln, von-Werth-Str. 25-27, D-50670 Köln, Germany,

Sort Code : 370 60 193; IBAN : DE93 3706 0193 0002 0201 22; BIC: GENODED1PAX

Reference : "Southern Sudan" - Or online at www.malteser-spenden.de

Malteser International is the worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta for humanitarian aid. The organisation provides aid in about 200 projects in more than 20 countries without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles of impartiality and independence are the foundation of its work. For further information: www.malteser-international.org and www.orderofmalta.org

Further information:

Petra Ipp-Zavazal, Senior Desk Officer International Communication,

Tel.+49 (0) 221/9822-155, Fax +49 (0) 221/982278-179;

Petra.ipp@malteser-international.org; www.malteser-international.org