Latest South Sudan News - February 2023
UPDATE: Cattle herders have massacred 28 people in Kajo Keji and over 2700 have now fled their villages and are in hiding in a nearby church. You can read more here.
“Despite war in Ukraine, do not forget South Sudan” , Yasmin Sooka, chair of the Human Rights Council Commission in South Sudan.
The UN and aid partners have appealed for $1.7 Bn to fund humanitarian aid with 8.9M people expected to need aid in South Sudan this year
Widespread Hunger across South Sudan:
The World Food Programme has reported that a “hidden hunger emergency” is engulfing South Sudan, compounded as large scale flooding is expected this year for the fourth consecutive year:
- 8.3 milllion (out of approx 11 million population) are facing extreme hunger and may starve without humanitarian assistance
- 1.3 million children under 5 are suffering acute malnutrition. They can recover quickly with proper treatment but funding the therapeutic feeding programmes is an increasing challenge.
- In 2021 the World Food Programme reached 5.9 million with food aid, but with their present resources (and with new demands such as the Ukrainian refugees) they cannot reach everyone, and can only provide the bare minimum to survive.
- The cumulative effect of floods, conflict and political infighting and lack of progress on the peace agreement means most of the country lacks even basic services.
One of the principal causes of the emergency is intercommunal conflicts and violence:
- There has been trouble in Leer county for the last year, but it has become worse more recently with villages looted and burnt.
- There was an attack on villages in Unity state where many were killed and many women raped.
There have been several events to promote peace:
- The political parties in South Sudan have reached agreement on the formation of a unified army command.
- The top positions have been divided among the variou parties including the terms for integrating commanders from the opposition.
The Story of South Sudan
After many years of war, South Sudan achieved independence from the north in 2011. Sadly, civil and tribal war broke out and many people have been driven from their homes and land, with over four million now living as refugees. More than half of these have fled to camps in other countries. Conditions in the refugee camps are poor, with each family being allocated a small plot of land and a tarpaulin to form a roof over their mud hut. Cooking has to be done over an open fire but there is a shortage of firewood. Water is pumped from the River Nile and chlorinated before being delivered to the camps. The ground often floods, there are very few schools and no jobs. These conditions lead to poor physical and mental health. A peace agreement was signed in the summer of 2018 and people are beginning to be optimistic about returning home to South Sudan but there is some way to go before it is safe to do so.