UN humanitarian chief calls for end to ‘senseless cycle of violence’ in South Sudan

UN humanitarian chief calls for end to ‘senseless cycle of violence’ in South Sudan

RELIEFWEB.INT -July 25, 2015 at 09:52AM

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: South Sudan

 

Families have endured horrendous atrocities including killing, abduction, and the recruitment of children into armed groups. Women and girls have
been beaten, raped and set on fire.

(Juba, 25 July 2015) – The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, concluded a four-day visit to South Sudan
today, calling on all parties to lay down their arms and commit to sustainable peace to halt the
rapidly spiralling humanitarian crisis.

During his mission, Mr. O’Brien met with humanitarian partners, Government officials and the
diplomatic community, and visited communities affected by the conflict in Juba and Unity State.

“I am deeply shocked by what I have seen. Innocent civilians are bearing the brunt of this brutal
war,” stated the Emergency Relief Coordinator. “Families have endured horrendous atrocities –
including killing, abduction, and the recruitment of children into armed groups. Women and girls
have been beaten, raped and set on fire. Entire communities have lost their homes and their
livelihoods. Many people are starving, living in swamps or in bushes, hiding in fear of their lives.
This senseless cycle of violence must stop.”

The UN humanitarian chief called on the leaders of the warring factions to take responsibility for
their own actions and for those who act in their name; “I call on the leadership of South Sudan to
listen to their people and lay down their arms, to stop the violence, reconcile their differences
and commit to peace.”

The humanitarian consequences of the nearly 20-month long conflict in South Sudan are grave:
Some 4.6 million people are severely food insecure, with a quarter of a million children at risk
from rapidly worsening nutrition. Massive displacement continues – over two million people,
half of whom are children – have fled their homes. This includes some 1.6 million people
displaced inside South Sudan and almost 600,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.

“Humanitarian needs are higher now than ever and we cannot wait to respond, to do even more
than brave humanitarians are already delivering. I appeal to the international community to act
now to avert an even greater humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan,” noted Stephen O’Brien.

The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2015 is currently only 42 per cent funded,
leaving a gap of nearly $1 billion dollars.


For further details, please contact:
OCHA South Sudan: Tapiwa Gomo, +211 922406079, gomo@un.org; or Guiomar Pau Sole,
+211 920100411, pausole@un.org
OCHA New York: Michelle Delaney, +(1) 917 226 6308, delaneym@un.org; or Amanda
Pitt, +1 917 442-1810, pitta@un.org

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