In his last press conference as UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon delivered stark warnings on two issues at the forefront of international concern: that “the carnage in Syria remains a gaping hole in the global conscience;” and that South Sudan faces a risk of genocide as the country leaders have “squandered a peace agreement.”
On World Humanitarian Day, (Friday August 19 2016), Christian Aid has paid tribute to aid workers who face significant dangers and difficulties as they provide relief to people caught up in crisis zones.
The Chair of Christian Aid, the Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, has spoken out against the recent fighting in South Sudan, where armed clashes in the capital, Juba, claimed nearly 300 lives and forced thousands of people to abandon their homes.
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan has reported that the ceasefire in the crisis-gripped country appears to be “largely holding, barring sporadic gunfire”, while the UN refugee agency has urged countries to keep their borders open for people fleeing tensions in Juba, where the human rights wing has warned the situation is “deteriorating rapidly.”
Hundreds of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, gang-rapes, sexual slavery, forced abortion, massive recruitment of child soldiers and indiscriminate attacks against civilians with entire villages burned down have been perpetrated by all in sides in South Sudan, says the UN.
Christian Aid has expressed deep concerned at the deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in Western Equatoria, South Sudan, in which one of its long-term partners, Mundri Relief & Development Association (MRDA) has been attacked.
After reports of alleged violations and abuses of human rights committed by both parties to the conflict in South Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is deploying a 10-member mission to the country to assess the situation.