S SUDAN: Do Not Abandon the Displaced, Priest Urges NGO’s

TORIT JUNE 23 2015 (CISA) – Fr Mark Opere Omol, spokesman for the Catholic diocese of Torit in South Sudan has made an appeal to the few humanitarian organizations that have remained in the country not to leave.

“The UN estimates that about 4 million and 600 thousand people are at risk of starvation. There is need for emergency aid to help the displaced people in various parts of the Country,” he said.

“It is necessary that the international community intervenes forcefully to stop the fratricidal war between the supporters of President Salava Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar,” said Fr Omol.

He added that the two leaders have to reach a compromise and sign the peace agreement within a short period of time “if they really have at heart the good of the Country.”

On October, 2014 the government of South Sudan reportedly banned foreigners, including aid workers, from employment in the country, according to an order issued in local papers and sent directly to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“All Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Companies in General, Banks, Insurance Companies, Telecommunication Companies, Petroleum Companies, Hotels and Lodges working in South Sudan are directed to notify all the Aliens working with them in all the positions to cease working as from October 15, 2014 forthwith,” said the decree, which was signed by Minister of Labor Ngor Kolong August 21.

“The purpose of this circular is to induce and protect the rights and interests of the people of South Sudan,” the message stated.

South Sudan government later backtracked on their decision after fierce criticism from neighbouring countries.

News that the Government of South Sudan expelled Toby Lanzer Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan on May 29 also sparked outrage and was condemned by UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

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