UN and partners reach civilians hiding from fighting in South Sudan

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24 August 2012 – UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, at food distribution site in Yida refugee camp, Unity State. [UNMISS Photo]

UN agencies and non-governmental organizations this weekend gained access to thousands of civilians affected by violence in South Sudan's largest state.

The people had been hiding in bushes in remote areas following clashes between government forces and non-state groups in Pibor county, Jonglei State.

Toby Lanzer, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, said this marked the first time the UN and its partners were able to reach the people, some of whom have serious wounds that require surgery.

"We have a situation where we want people to gain access to the main towns of Jonglei state where the NGOs have been based in the past because these very remote locations that we got to on Saturday, Sunday and again today, it's going to be difficult for us, from a logistics perspective, to go in there and set up a field hospital or to establish a food aid distribution."

Lanzer called on the government of South Sudan and leaders in Jonglei State to urgently halt the cycle of violence that is leading to senseless loss of life and suffering among civilians.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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