"Sanctity of life paramount" says humanitarian chief

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Stephen O’Brien arrived Wednesday in South Sudan, for a four-day visit to the country. Photo: UNMISS

Civilians in South Sudan need to be protected as a priority against the ongoing violence in the country, according to the UN humanitarian chief.

Government forces continue to battle rebels backing the former Vice-President, Riek Machar.

Two million people have been driven from their homes since the conflict erupted in December 2013.

Ana Carmo reports

Of those two million people, around 160,000 are sheltering at UN bases around the country.

Stephen O’Brien, the newly appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs is currently visiting South Sudan to see at first hand the humanitarian challenges it faces.

Speaking at one of the UN bases accommodating civilians he said protecting them remains a priority.

“It is very important that we carry a message that the one thing that matters above all else is that the sanctity of life should be paramount and that we should be doing everything we can to protect civilians, innocent civilians from the terrible risk and the fear of death from all the violence that is taking place.”

It's estimated that tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council expressed disappointment with South Sudan's leaders saying they had put their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people.

Ana Carmo, United Nations

Duration: 1″03″


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