UN urges warring South Sudan factions to allow unhindered humanitarian access

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A senior United Nations official in South Sudan has called on warring factions in the country to allow unhindered humanitarian access to citizens in the country.

David Shearer, UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General for South Sudan, said humanitarian agencies and the United Nations in South Sudan, who want to reach the people in need, are repeatedly refused access by local authorities.

“South Sudan’s political leadership needs to support its own citizens, who are in desperate need across the country and cease hostilities,” Shearer said in a statement issued in Juba.

He said a complete cessation of hostilities is urgently needed to end the suffering of the South Sudanese people.

“Those affected by the humanitarian crisis are still citizens of this young country, and they deserve protection. But the constant fighting shows they are getting none. Instead, they are bearing the brunt,” Shearer said.

South Sudan has been plagued by violence since December 2013 following allegations by President Salva Kiir that his then-deputy Riek Machar was plotting a coup against his government. Machar refuted the claims but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

The war has killed thousands and forced millions to flee their homes.

The U.N. has warned that if the situation in the country is not resolved soon, there is a possibility of genocide.

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