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Charity fears for civilian safety in South Sudan

Source: Plan UK - Wed, 5 Dec 2012 16:32 GMT
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FEARS for civilian safety are growing in one of South Sudan’s most volatile states, amid reports of clashes between rebel militias and SPLA forces.

A series of shootings and cattle raids are reported to have occurred in Jonglei throughout November.

One of South Sudan’s largest NGOs has expressed grave concern for the welfare of thousands of homeless children and families living in one of the most unstable areas.

In September 2012 alone, more than 10,000 people were left homeless after fighting escalated in Pibor County.

Children’s charity Plan International is assisting communities caught up in the conflict.

Emergency food, hygiene kits and fishing supplies were distributed to thousands of displaced people in Pibor, and in Gumuruk and Likuangole districts.

With a period of heavy seasonal rains expected to end within the next couple of months, the charity fears hostilities between rebels and the SPLA could increase.

“Villagers in Jonglei have had floods to contend with,” says Plan’s country director in South Sudan Gyan Bahadur Adhikari.

“Thousands have already been forced to flee their homes as a result of armed conflict and inter-ethnic fighting.

“I fear the recent spate of violent clashes could make this very difficult situation far worse.

“The government is trying to control the situation and we are working to ensure the displaced have access to food and other emergency supplies.”

Plan has been working in South Sudan since 2006, before its independence, managing education, health, protection and economic security projects.

The charity works with more than 65,000 children - mainly in Juba, Lainya and Yei counties in Central and Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei and Lakes States.

For more information about Plan’s work in South Sudan visit http://www.plan-uk.org/where-we-work/africa/south-sudan/

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