Situation - Sudan - The UN has said troops mobilization and a tense situation are still prevailing in South Sudan, even as the two 'warring' parties -- the government and the rebels -- are still engaged in peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
In a statement, received by PANA in Khartoum Thursday, Farhan Haq, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, pointed out that in South Sudan, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Hilde Johnson, visited the city of Malakal in Upper Nile State, where there has been fighting in recent weeks and met with internally-displaced persons and UN staffers there.
The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is currently protecting over 12,000 civilians.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Special representative and Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer is in Bentiu in Unity State, to assess the humanitarian situations and the UN response there. There are reports of large movements of civilians in the area.
“The Mission also reports that the situation in Juba continues to be tense. In addition to protecting civilians in its bases, UN troops continue patrols in the capital,' the UN Secretary General spokesperson stressed.
He said report they received from the field showed “continued instability, fighting and mobilization of armed forces in a number of locations,” including around Bor in Jonglei State and in areas in Unity and Upper Nile State.
“Overall, the Mission continues to protect approximately 62,000 civilians in its bases, with humanitarian actors providing relief and support. This includes nearly 30,000 at its two Juba bases,” the UN official said.
On the humanitarian front, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that an estimated 201,000 people have been internally displaced by the current crisis in South Sudan since 15 December.
OCHA was quoted by the official as saying that food, healthcare, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene remain the top priorities for humanitarian response.
The UN complained that humanitarian access continues to be constrained by active hostilities, attacks on aid workers and assets, interference with humanitarian activities and other obstacles.