BY JACK CLIFTON @jackyboi90
Dangerous clashes between government and opposition in South Sudan have left 6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and another 4.8 million facing severe hunger as the country spirals into damage control.
Clashes last month caused a fresh cycle of violence and displacement causing alarm among aid workers in the region. “I am extremely concerned as the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan continues to deepen and spread, causing untold devastation to so many innocent people,” said Eugene Owusu, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan.
A fall in agricultural production mixed with an economic crisis and sky rocketing food prices has left South Sudan on the brink of a famine.
In Juba in the country’s south, desperate displaced families are left with the gut-wrenching choice of staying within the UN camp and watching their children starve, or risking leaving the camp to fetch food and being exposed to attack from rogue soldiers continuing to fight. According to UN statistics in the past three months more than 100 women were raped after moving out of a camp in search of food.
In an effort to avoid further escalation of the conflict, the UN Security Council is set to discuss the deployment of a regional protection force this week. If this goes ahead they would be part of a 12,000 strong peacekeeping mission endorsed by the UN.