South Sudan

U.S. Warns South Sudan’s Kiir: Stop the War or Forget Aid

The United States government has told South Sudan President Salva Kiir it will review its support to the country amid the growing insecurity in the country, Chimp Corps report.

USAID Administrator, Mark Green stressed to Kiir in the Capital Juba the urgent need for the head-of-state and his Government to “both acknowledge and address the worsening humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.”

Six million people – more than half the population – are facing life-threatening hunger this year, the most food-insecure year in South Sudan’s history.

Green underscored to President Kiir on Friday that “this is a man-made crisis”, which the President “can stop.”

He urged the President to help end the suffering of his people by taking a number of specific steps on an urgent basis including “restoring a permanent ceasefire by ceasing ongoing military offensives; ending obstruction of humanitarian access; eliminating exorbitant fees levied on aid organizations; and engaging in a meaningful, inclusive peace process.”

The violence which broke out in July has shattered hopes for a real breakthrough and triggered new waves of displacement and suffering, while humanitarian organizations are finding it difficult for logistical, security and funding reasons to provide urgent protection and assistance to the hundreds of thousands in need, including 1.61 million internally displaced people.

United States spent $518m in 2017 and $2.7bn since 2013 to support humanitarian efforts in the country.

During the 45-minute engagement, Kiir said security for aid agencies had been fully restored and that government forces were not to blame for the atrocities.

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Kiir further said his government has since May been implementing a ceasefire which other armed groups were yet to respect.

The number of South Sudanese refugees sheltering in neighboring countries recently passed the 1 million mark.

With this milestone, South Sudan joined Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries which have produced more than a million refugees.

Most of the recent arrivals have crossed into Uganda (143,164), but a surge of people have entered western Ethiopia’s Gambella region and others have been heading to Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic.

According to UNHCR, most of those fleeing South Sudan are women and children.

They include survivors of violent attacks, sexual assault, children that have been separated from their parents or travelled alone, the disabled, the elderly and people in need of urgent medical care.

New arrivals report increased fighting across the Greater Equatoria region and attacks by armed groups that kill civilians, loot villages, sexually assault women and girls, and recruit young boys.

Many refugees arrive exhausted after days walking in the bush and going without food or water.

Many children have lost one or both of their parents, some forced to become primary caregivers to younger siblings.

Dangerous country

On his part, Green expressed deep concern that South Sudan is the most dangerous country in the world for aid workers, and called on the President to ensure the security of humanitarians and end impediments that block or delay the delivery of critical assistance to people in need.

On Saturday, Green traveled under heavy military escort to Wau to meet with people displaced by the internal conflict, and to monitor USAID-funded humanitarian initiatives to help them, such as the provision of food assistance, nutrition for malnourished children, health care, and counseling.

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