International Rescue Committee [to 26 April 2014]
South Sudan is at tipping point – International Rescue Committee calls for immediate action
27 Apr 2014 –
The International Rescue Committee is calling on the world not to give up on South Sudan but to make every effort to ensure that the fighting stops. Since the conflict started in December 2013, and despite a Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed in January, violations are committed regularly by all sides to the conflict, increasingly accompanied by widespread human rights abuses.
Protected areas, supposed to be safe havens for the displaced, are under attack. On 17 April armed men attacked a UN base in Bor and massacred 58 unarmed civilians including two IRC staff members. Children as young as two months were killed. On the same day armed men attacked churches, mosques and hospitals in Bentiu.
“South Sudan is at tipping point,” says the IRC’s president, David Miliband. “Without immediate, high level engagement to stop the violence, the people of South Sudan will face more killings and be plunged further into a food crisis. Having lost two of our own staff in the recent wave of killings, we know that people fear they are running out of options on where to flee.”
Miliband says, “There must be increased political pressure on the government and opposition and much greater support for the UN presence — both actions are critical to curb the crisis. It is easy to dismiss this as an ethnic conflict but the root of the crisis is political, exacerbated by easy access to weaponry. The interruption of planting and the consequent fear of famine top off the dangerous brew.”
The IRC welcomes the decision by the U.S government to allow targeted sanctions and is calling for the resumption of negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
The IRC is also stressing that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) should establish a permanent, independent presence in South Sudan to monitor violations of human rights committed by all parties. “The atrocities perpetrated by all parties are proof enough that more accountability is crucial,” says Miliband.
The IRC further emphasizes the need for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to deploy more peacekeepers on the ground. “Last December, the UN Security Council authorized deployment of an additional 5,500 UNMISS troops,” Miliband says. “Only 1,400 have arrived so far. The case for more troops remains pressing.”…
Intl Rescue Comm IRC@theIRC • Apr 25
Test for #malaria at Tham Hin camp,where IRC is sole provider of health care: http://bit.ly/1kdi2IL #WorldMalariaDay
Intl Rescue Comm IRC@theIRC • Apr 24
#SouthSudan: World’s newest state that threatens to become one of the world’s bloodiest. @DMiliband on @Channel4News: http://bit.ly/1l7G3lC
Intl Rescue Comm IRC @theIRC • Apr 22
In 2013, IRC gave 1.4 million people access to clean drinking water & sanitation. http://bit.ly/IRCin2013 #EarthDay
Intl Rescue Comm IRC @theIRC • Apr 21
We confirm with great sadness that two members of our South Sudan staff were killed last Thursday: http://bit.ly/1h8hMdY