Humanitarian Crises Engulfs South Sudan

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The head of the United Nations refugee agency today said South Sudan is facing enormous humanitarian crises as tensions between communities cause internal displacement amid a refugee influx from Sudan.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres urged the international community to show greater solidarity with South Sudan as it strives to cope a number of huge humanitarian challenges.

South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in a UN-backed referendum earlier this year, but since then deadly inter-ethnic clashes have broken out in several states.

The two regions Sudan’s Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile , which lie on the border between Sudan and the newly-independent nation of South Sudan, have been the scene of deadly fighting in recent weeks that has displaced tens of thousands of people. UN officials have called on all parties to cease hostilities and to ensure access so that humanitarian workers can reach those who need help.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been delivering tens and other relief supplies to assistant the refugees.

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An aerial view of the village of Fertait, burned to the ground, in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. The village is one of the latest to succumb to ethnic clashes which began this month among Lou Nuer, Murle and other peoples, over cattle raiding. UN Photo/Isaac Billy

“UNHCR… is directly engaged in relation to the support of refugees that are coming now in great numbers fleeing from South Kordofan and Blue Nile and have been received in an extremely hospitable way by the people and the Government of South Sudan in Upper Nile and Unity states.” – Mr. Guterres

Earlier this month of December, an outbreak of inter-ethnic violence earlier also has left more than 40 people dead, most of them women, children and the elderly. Mr. Guterres commended the work of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the country’s Government in preventing an escalation.

The UNMISS has also facilitated a reconciliation process between various communities for the past months. The Mission called on all communities in Jonglei State to put an end to the inter-communal violence and to immediately engage in a peace dialogue. Recently, the UNMISS has reinforced its presence in key areas of Jonglei to protect civilians following the recent violence and is continuing to conduct daily air and land patrols.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.