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Extreme violence and other human rights abuses in South Sudan must cease immediately as direct mediation talks between leaders of conflicting parties begin in Ethiopia, Oxfam has said.
Since violence broke out on 15 December 2013, over a thousand civilians have been killed and almost 200,000 have fled their homes to the bush or United Nations bases. They are living in increasingly dire conditions, as the ongoing conflict makes it difficult to provide humanitarian support to those in need.
Oxfam has been working in the region for 30 years and is collaborating with the UN and other agencies to get food, clean water and sanitation facilities to those most in need.
The aid agency is deeply concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis, including in the Awerial refugee camp on the banks of the Nile which is now home to 75,000 people and where it has deployed a rapid response team to urgently support in the delivery of clean water, construction of latrines and public health work.
Desire Assogbavi, Head of Oxfam’s African Union Liaison Office in Addis Ababa said: “Thousands of families already living in extreme poverty have been pushed from their homes and cut off from what they need to survive. We are doing what we can to ensure those most affected by the violence have their basic needs met, such as access to food, water and sanitary living conditions. But if the conflict continues, it will become even more difficult to meet the increasing needs of those affected.
“All parties to the negotiations taking place in Addis Ababa have a duty to their citizens to reach a swift and peaceful resolution to the conflict. Protection of human rights, regardless of citizens’ political or ethnic identity, must also be at the core of the resolution,”
“In addition, all parties must ensure that safe access is given to humanitarian actors to ensure live saving aid can reach those who need it the most.“
For interviews or more information, please contact Oxfam International Liaison Office with the African Union Acting Media Lead Faith Adhianbo,
Tel.: +251 11661 1601; Mobile: +251 925 374 692; E-mail: Faith.Adhiambo@OxfamInternational.org