South Sudan: Hungry people abandon homes in South Sudan's Imatong state

Juba, South Sudan (PANA) - Up to 75 per cent of people living in Imatong state of South Sudan may have left their homes because they cannot get enough to eat, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), David Shearer, was told by community leaders in Torit on Thursday.

Torit has largely been spared the worst of the 2013 outbreak of conflict in South Sudan, but since July 2016, has been considered a flashpoint by the UN after heavy fighting between the government SPLA and opposition forces.

A combination of insecurity, armed robbery on state roads, a deteriorating economy and a lack of fuel has meant that subsistence farmers cannot grow the crops they need to survive, and other farmers cannot get their food to the market. The region has long been considered the food basket of South Sudan.

Mr. Shearer who was on first mission to the state capital said:  “Many people are just too scared to stay at home so have fled and are now refugees in nearby Kenya and Uganda. UNMISS peacekeepers are mounting patrols in the state and are doing what they can to provide security and build confidence so that farmers can return to their land.

“However, unless all warring factions lay down their arms, peace will not be possible and the people of South Sudan will continue to suffer. It is always the poorest and most vulnerable who bear the brunt of insecurity and conflict.”
-0- PANA AR 23March2017

23 march 2017 19:16:45

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