This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
Toby Lanzer, UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan said, although the Juba government and the rebels have signed a ceasefire deal that mandates both parties to respect humanitarian law and allow aid to areas with vulnerable population, little is realized.
The two warring parties early this month reiterated their commitment to full implementation of Cessation of Hostilities agreement (re-signed between President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar) under the auspices IGAD.
“By air we had had access. We have flown to over a hundred destinations both areas under the government control and under the opposition and yet when it comes to moving by barge along the river Nile or when it comes to moving by road its much difficult for us,” Lanzer told hundreds of delegates at an international conference in Oslo staged to mobilize funds for the humanitarian situation in South Sudan.
“Actually by barge, not a single WFP barge has moved along the river Nile. We need the support of the government, national security and military intelligent in particular now to be able to move by barge.”
Distribution of aid by air, he said, is more expensive and takes the largest chunk of the funding which could go to catering for other basic needs.
He said there are over 80 check-points between Juba and Bentiu that affect the delivery of aid to the northern part of the country.
South Sudan fell hostage to political crisis late last year and has now plunged the country into one of its worst war ever humanitarian crisis since gaining independence on in July 2011.
The crisis started at the Capital, Juba but later spread across the country. It mainly affected the northern part of the country where Lanzer said road-blocks impede distribution of aid by barge.
Key international actors; the United States, United Kingdom, Norway and the European Union on the South Sudan affairs have urged the South Sudanese government and the rebels to respect the cessation of hostilities and not interfere with work of humanitarian aid agencies.
South Sudan’s Foreign Minister Dr. Barnaba Marial however, told donors that government is willing to provide able environment for delivery of aid, but stressed that the aid agencies need to work in “coordination” with the government.
Two months ago, government and the UMISS were at loggerheads after security agents impounded UN trucks loaded with presumed building materials that turned out to be some military hardware in Lakes State.
Government then thought the military hardware was being supplied to rebels fighting against its authority.