South Sudan has ordered humanitarian organisations operating in parts of Unity State to withdraw and give way for a fresh offensive against rebels United Nations official said Friday.
The areas targeted include Mayendit county which is deeply devastated by hunger.
UN Special Representative in South Sudan David Shearer in a statement on Friday said humanitarian agencies are preparing withdraw but their activities are hindered by raging anarchy in the state.
“Humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organisations were told to evacuate the town of Mayendit in the heart of the famine-afflicted area because of the risk of fighting resuming,” Shearer indicated.
“In other towns of Yuai and Motot in the eastern parts of the country, humanitarian organisations were forced to leave due to the fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition. Their compounds and supplies were subsequently looted,” the statement reads.
Also, a military intelligence officer was quoted by Sudan Tribune saying that government took the decision in order to ensure the safety of the humanitarian organisations because the areas in which they operate currently needs to be cleared of the armed opposition groups allied to the former First Vice-President Riek Machar.
“The objective of these directives is not to deny the civil population relief assistance. It is to create a safe environment for their operations because these organisations operate in areas which are not safe for them,” a military source said Saturday.
“They are the areas in which rebels of Riek Machar have been causing havoc. And so these areas need to be cleared. So these rebels need to be flushed out and this is what we are doing now in Lou Nuer and areas in the greater unity,” he added.
A resumption of hostilities undermines the recent call for national dialogue by President Salva Kiir which he has sold to the international community as the only measure to end the conflict in South Sudan.
The war which emanated from political rivalry between President Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar in December 2013 took ethnic dimensions and acts of genocide between Kiir’s Dinka Tribe and Machar’s Nuer.
A peace agreement signed in August 2015 in Addis Ababa Ethiopia failed to bring lasting calm to the brutal civil unrest in which thousands have been butchered. Fighting resumed in July 2016 after forces of both