Thursday, November 22, 2012

South Sudan, Sudan Conflict Deepens Humanitarian Crisis

South Sudan, Sudan conflict deepens humanitarian crisis

South Sudan
November 22, 2012
By William Lambers

Many refugees reach the camp in a much weakened state, hungry, malnourished and battling illness which further compromised their nutritional status.

The United Nations reported yesterday of a "spike" in new refugees from the conflict between South Sudan and Sudan.

South Sudan's largest refugee site, Yida, saw 2100 new refugees arrive from South Kordofan in Sudan. The refugees, mostly women and children, had walked for days to reach Yida after fleeing conflict and lack of food in South Kordofan. Around 1 in 6 children among the refugees are reported to be malnourished.

There is fear this wave of refugees may escalate as conditions worsen in South Kordofan. Roads will become more passable with the end of the rainy season.

The UN also reported that food rations were distributed to people displaced from Abyei from a conflict in May 2011. The displaced are currently in Agok and some assistance went to the host community as well. In all about 70,000 people received rations.

Meanwhile aid continues to be delivered to about 10,000 people displaced by fighting in Pibor County, located in Jonglei State of South Sudan. South Sudan's army has battled non-state forces in Jonglei, a region which has been victimized by internal conflict.

As people are struggling to survive, South Sudan and Sudan have not implemented their safe demilitarized border zone. A previous agreement called for this demilitarization to take place and it is desperately needed.

As Victoria Nuland of the State Department said, "The creation of the safe demilitarized border zone between the two countries is vital to ensure that both countries honor their commitments to cease support to proxies and, most importantly, prevent inter-state conflict."

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