Displaced S. Sudanese face precarious conditions

The UN estimates that at least 1,000 people have been killed and nearly 230,000 displaced by the South Sudan conflict.

Displaced S. Sudanese face precarious conditions

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Sudanese people displaced by ongoing clashes between the government and rebel forces loyal to sacked vice-president Riek Machar are living in precarious conditions at camps nationwide, made worse by chronic shortages of food, shelter, sanitation and medical services.

"We came here on December 28; it's now been three weeks," Nyanok James, one of the many internally displaced people (IDPs) at the Aweng Payam camp in Warrap State, located over 200kms from Juba, told Anadolu Agency.

"The people here are very nice to us, but there's no food, clean water or shelter," she said.

James said that a 500ml bottle of clean water was often shared between three people over the course of a day.

"As you can see, we sleep under the trees," she said.

South Sudan, the world's newest country, has been shaken by violence since mid-December when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of standing behind a failed coup attempt against his regime.

The UN estimates that at least 1,000 people have been killed and nearly 230,000 displaced by the conflict.

Area commissioner Biar Biar Deng said that up to 7,930 IDPs were currently staying in the Turalei, Aweng, Manageng and Wurok Payam areas of Warrap State.

Deng went on to point out that more people were seeking refuge every day with little or no relief assistance.

Help

The Aweng Payam camp alone is home to over 3,000 IDPs fleeing violence in the neighboring Unity State.

"NGOs are helping us by providing some little food items, but it is too small," James lamented.

She called on the government – at all levels – to intervene by providing emergency relief assistance as IDPs struggle to rebuild their lives at the camp.

Many IDPs are also concerned about local health conditions, as the makeshift camps often lack basic health services.

Presidential spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny has reiterated the government's commitment to delivering basic services to IDPs.

Such services are difficult to come by, however, since South Sudan relies largely on donations from NGOs, many of which have recently closed up shop in the troubled country.

Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Toby Lanzer, who, along with Ateny, has visited several IDP camps, insisted that UN agencies would continue to provide support to struggling IDPs.

UN agencies on the ground, however, including the World Food Program and the UN Mission in South Sudan, appear to be falling short in their efforts to mitigate the difficult conditions now faced by South Sudan's displaced people.

Last Mod: 19 Ocak 2014, 09:34
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