South Sudan seeking aid to close budget deficit

"Recent new arrivals report suffering inside South Sudan with intense fighting, kidnappings, rape, fears of armed groups and threats to life, as well as acute food shortage", William Spindler, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told the media at a regular briefing in Geneva.

More than three years of civil war in South Sudan has forced 1.5 million people to flee into neighboring countries, creating Africa's largest refugee crisis and the third largest in the world after Syria and Afghanistan, the United Nations refugee agency reports.

Lieutenant General Thomas Cirillo Swaka, the Deputy Chief of General Staff for Logistics in the SPLA army, is the second highest-ranking officer to resign after Gen. Bapiny Monytuil since clashes erupted between government troops and opposition fighters in July a year ago.

"The President and these SPLA officers have systematically frustrated the implementations of the peace agreement and pursued the agenda of Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) of ethnic cleansing, forceful displacement of people from the their ancestral lands and ethnic domination", he said.

UNHCR is extremely alarmed at the ongoing pace of displacement in South Sudan, where more than 1.5 million people have been forced to leave the country and seek safety since conflict erupted in December 2013.

An average of 63,000 people were forced to leave the country every month.

"That is why it is so important that those countries and those communities continue to receive assistance".

UNHCR is encouraged by the welcome South Sudan refugees have received in the neighbouring countries, but remains extremely anxious by the lack of resources to handle one of the world's largest refugee crisis.

He was speaking meeting Germany ambassador who pledged support on behalf of the donor community in the country. The crisis has produced one of the world's worst displacement situations with huge suffering for civilians. He praised the generosity of the host countries, but noted that his agency's relief efforts were being hampered by a serious lack of money. Response capacities are over stretched in host countries and chronic underfunding is affecting life-saving efforts like the provision of clean drinking water, food, health facilities and sanitation.

FILE - Children who fled fighting in South Sudan pose for a photograph inside a tented classroom at Bidi Bidi refugee's resettlement camp near the border with South Sudan, in northern Uganda Dec. 7, 2016.

"It's true that bullets were flying in front of the GSDF troops, and they used the word "combat" as a general term in their own description" in the reports, Kawano said, referring to the situation in Juba in July past year when a large combat incident occurred.

  • Julie Sanders