South Sudan Ethnic Clashes Affect 120,000 People

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Ethnic clashes in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has affected more than 120,000 people.

The number has doubled and in need of emergency assistance, the United Nations humanitarian official in the country said today

Last month of December 2011, an outbreak of inter-ethnic violence earlier has left more than 40 people dead, most of them women, children and the elderly. The violence has caused an estimated tens of thousands people to flee their homes in Pibor County and resulting in casualties, destruction of property and livelihoods.

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A member of the press asks a question to Hilde Johnson, the Special Representative of the SecretaryGeneral for South Sudan and Head of the UN mission in the country (UNMISS), during her press conference today at UNMISS’ headquarters in Juba. Ms. Johnson expressed her deep concern over hate language used in the midst of escalating ethnic tensions in Jonglei State and called on community leaders there to put an end to the rhetoric, which included a threat to wipe out an entire ethnic group.UN Photo/Isaac Billy

“The violence in Jonglei hasn’t stopped.” -Lise Grande, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan

Ms. Grande stated that two weeks ago, the UN launched a massive emergency operation to help 60,000 people.

Yesterday, Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Johnson urged an immediate end to the cycle of ethnic violence in the newly independent nation.

“The ongoing security crisis in Jonglei state is a test for all of us.” -Ms. Hilde Johnson

She reported that humanitarian assistance is being provided in violence-affected areas and assessments are continuing, according to a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

In total, South Sudan has received more than 50,000 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states in recent months.

Nearly 33,000 Sudanese refugees have gone to neighbouring Ethiopia since June, most of them having the fled conflict in Blue Nile. They include more than 18,000 people hosted in two camps and a transit centre, and an estimated 14,000 living among the host community in border areas.

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.