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.
“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.