South Sudan

Relief Agencies Alarmed by Administrative Interference in South Sudan

Humanitarian organisations are facing interference from both the opposition and government forces

Relief agencies catering for close to half of the total 13 million people in the war torn South Sudan have raised alarm over interferences in their operations by the government and the opposition forces.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, visit this site Eugene Owusu said in a press statement released by the world body’s relief arm that series of bureaucratic impediments and access constraints have hampered their operations.

“Humanitarian organizations in South Sudan are striving every day to save lives and alleviate suffering across this country yet they continue to face obstacles and challenges which hamper their efforts. This must stop,” Mr. Owusu said.

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According to OCHA, some 91 humanitarian access incidents were recorded from 1 to 28 November alone.

Out of the 91 incidents, 64 involved violence against humanitarian personnel or assets, 18 incidents involved interference in humanitarian action, including interference in administrative matters, illegal or arbitrary taxation, and expulsion of staff.

Also in November according to the same release, relief workers were denied access to areas outside of Yei in Central Equatoria and Wau in Western Bahr El Ghazal, where tens of thousands of people are in need of assistance and protection.

The UNOCHA further reported that needs in the country continue to rise due to the conflict and economic decline. It is estimated that about three million people have been displaced, of which more than 1.1 million people have fled to neighboring countries as refugees, since fighting first broke out in December 2013.

Further in the release, Mr. Owusu also noted steps taken by the Government to address the access challenges, including the establishment of a high-level humanitarian oversight committee.

He, however, added that the recent incidents were a “major challenge” and that the commitments needed to be translated into “real, tangible and immediate improvements in the operating environment for aid workers on the front-lines of humanitarian action.”


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