South Sudan

UN Suspends Operation in South Sudan over Fresh Clashes

The United Nation’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) has suspended operations in South Sudan’s oil rich state of Upper Nile over the fresh fighting between the government forces and rebels of Dr. Riek Machar.

Heavy clashes between the two rival forces started over the weekend forcing IOM to abandon thousands of civilians including women and children who are fleeing the latest wave of violence since when Machar fled the country.

The IOM Chief of Mission, page William Barriga said in a statement that the capacity of his agency has been significantly affected.

“Violence in Upper Nile has once again hindered the ability of IOM and other relief agencies to provide assistance to populations seriously in need, diagnosis ” said Barriga.

The same statement added that civilians are to bear the wrath of the skirmishes.

“Civilians will undoubtedly suffer as sporadic fighting makes it more difficult for aid workers to deliver services.”

The IOM team had started the preparation to register projected 3, 000 displaced people before they were forced to flee.

According to IOM, clashes reached Wau Shilluk on 27 January, just as a 14-person team from the UN agency was about to resume registration. A partner organization, which provides aid, was with UN agency at the time.

Wau Shilluk is located north-eastern South Sudan, across the White Nile River from Malakal town. Malakal was one of South Sudan’s largest urban areas before the current crisis and home to more than 33,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are sheltering at the protection of civilians (PoC) site, said IOM.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Monday condemned the latest fighting and urged all parties to protect civilians.

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