S Sudan facing 'catastrophic' hunger

2014-05-15 09:02
A displaced woman stands by her washing at the UN compound where she has sought shelter in Bentiu, in oil-rich Unity state, in South Sudan. (File, AP)

A displaced woman stands by her washing at the UN compound where she has sought shelter in Bentiu, in oil-rich Unity state, in South Sudan. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Juba - War-torn South Sudan faces a catastrophic "tipping point" amid famine and genocide warnings, an aid agency said on Thursday, as the conflict entered its fifth month with no sign of bloodshed ending.

"We either act now or millions will pay the price," Oxfam chief executive Mark Goldring said.

President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar signed a fresh ceasefire last week but fighting broke out hours later, the second time in the five-month conflict that a truce has failed to stick.

The war in the world's youngest nation has claimed thousands - possibly tens of thousands - of lives, with more than 1.2 million people forced to flee their homes.

The ceasefire agreement, signed last week in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was the fruit of weeks of mounting international pressure and shuttle diplomacy.

But fighters on the ground appear to have paid little if any notice to it.

"We face a mammoth task of getting massive levels of aid to people at the worst time of the year, when rains make many areas hard to reach and turn roads into rivers of mud," Oxfam's Goldring said in a statement.

"We need a massive and rapid global surge in aid to prevent catastrophic levels of hunger. We cannot afford to wait, we cannot afford to fail."

Population in crisis

The conflict, which started as a personal rivalry between Kiir and Machar, has seen the army and communities divide along ethnic lines, pitting members of Kiir's Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer.

UN rights chief Navi Pillay, a former head of the UN genocide court for Rwanda, has said she recognised "many of the precursors of genocide" listed in a report on atrocities released last week by the organisation.

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this week warned half of the country's population will suffer if war continues.

"If the conflict continues, half of South Sudan's 12 million people will either be displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving or dead by the year's end," Ban said.

The UN's $1.27bn funding appeal is only 40% funded, with a shortfall of over $700m.

More than a third of South Sudan's population - 3.7 million people - are facing emergency and crisis levels of hunger. In war-torn Unity state, the key oil producing region, more than three-quarters need aid, according to the UN.

The United Nations food agency has warned there is only a "small window of opportunity" to avert famine and appealed for relief agencies, who have been subjected to armed attacks and looting, to be allowed unfettered access.

The war erupted on 15 December when Kiir accused Machar of attempting a coup. Machar then fled to the bush to launch a rebellion, insisting that the president had attempted to carry out a bloody purge of his rivals.

Despite pressure to end fighting, many fear that political leaders can no longer hold back their warring forces as communities spiral into cycles of revenge attacks.

An Amnesty International report last week described civilians including children executed by the side of the road "like sheep", gang rapes of women using sticks, and other victims "grotesquely mutilated" with their lips sliced off.
Read more on:    un  |  oxfam  |  riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  ban ki-moon  |  south sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

SEO Specialist

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Itopia Interactive
R15 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Communications Specialist and Graphic Designer

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Evrst Business Solutions
R25 000 Per Month

Sharepoint Administrator

Western Cape
Datafin Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.