South Sudan rebel group gives access to humanitarian team in border town

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A United Nations armored personnel carrier stands in a camp for the internally-displaced in Juba, South Sudan. (Photo by AP)

A south Sudanese rebel group has allowed humanitarian access to Pibor in the east part of the country near the Ethiopian border.

South Sudan relapsed into war on December 15, 2013, primarily due to the power struggle between South Sudan President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar.

This is the first time the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition (SPLA-IO) has created a corridor for humanitarian workers to access conflict hit regions since the resurgence of clashes in 2016.

SPLA-IO is implementing orders from its leader Riek Machar following the signing and implementation of a peace deal with the government last month.

The UN-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) of January-July report highlights Pibor as one of the most food insecure counties in South Sudan In February 2016.

Several humanitarian agencies like the medical charity Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF) have suspended in the past operations there due to looting and attacks by gun men on their centers.

Xinhua reports that Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-IO spokesperson, said they will open up several roads from Yei to Lainya, Lasu and Kaya in the Central Equatoria region which has experienced heavy violence in the past.

South Sudan descended into civil war in late 2013, and the conflict has created one of the fastest growing refugee crises in the world.

The UN estimates that about four million South Sudanese have been displaced internally and externally.

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