News in Brief 23 February 2017 (AM)

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UNMISS chief David Shearer on his visit to Yambio on 22 February. Photo: UNMISS

Security essential to reinvigorating South Sudan "bread basket"

Improved security is essential to reinvigorating what has been called the bread basket of South Sudan, the  head of the UN Mission in the country, UNMISS, David Shearer, has said.

Mr Shearer was making his first field trip to the town of Yambio in the Western Equatoria region of South Sudan, an agricultural region which has typically provided a wide range of food products for the rest of the country.

Production has slowed because farmers are no longer able to plant crops due to ongoing insecurity and displacement.

Daniel Dickinson is the Spokesperson for UNMISS.

"Security is the key to getting famers back to their land," Mr Shearer said after meeting Gbudwe State officials in Yambio. He said that security was also essential on the road network to allow trade and the distribution of agricultural products. He praised the State authorities for their commitment to boosting agricultural production and moving towards self-sufficiency."

A famine has been recently declared in certain parts of South Sudan where, according to UN estimates, five million people desperately need food.

UNHCR opens new camp in Uganda for South Sudan refugees

A new camp has been opened in northern Uganda's Arua district by the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, and its partners to host the thousands of refugees arriving from South Sudan.

More than one million people have been forced to flee the country to seek safety since a conflict erupted in 2013.

The new Imvepi settlement is expected to accommodate up to 110,000 new arrivals.

South Sudan is now Africa's largest refugee crisis and the world's third after Syria and Afghanistan.

But, says UNHCR, it's getting a lot less attention and funding.

Warring parties in CAR urged by UN to protect civilians

Parties to the conflict in the Ouaka and Haute Kotto provinces in the Central African Republic (CAR) are being urged by the UN's humanitarian agency, OCHA, to protect civilians and fulfil their human rights obligations.

Since the beginning of 2017, there have been deadly clashes between rival armed groups in these provinces, forcing civilians out of their homes.

This renewed violence has led to gross violations of international humanitarian law and breaches to the protection of civilians.

The violent conflict in CAR has affected nearly the entire population and has left some 2.3 million people, over half the population, in dire need of assistance.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2’34″

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