CHILDREN are dying of malnutrition in war-torn South Sudan as rebel groups deny humanitarian actors and ceasefire monitors access to conflict-affected areas. Incessant clashes that have heighted since June between government forces and rebel groups have made the northwestern Wau town inaccessible for the United Nations (UN) mission and other aid agencies.
It is among areas worst hit by the fighting emanating from a civil war that erupted in 2013, two years after independence from Sudan.
The Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, a government agency, has reported the death of at least three malnourished children in the affected area in recent days as Wau localities remained inaccessible.
“This is due to the delay in granting humanitarian partners access,” said Michael Geba, director of the commission.
Humanitarian agencies such as the World Food Programme have managed to reach conflict zones but have met harassment and life-threatening intimidation by the armed militants.
Alain Noudehou, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, bemoaned the denial of access to war-torn zones by rebel groups.
South Sudan has been embroiled in civil war since President Salva Kiir Mayardit fired his deputy, Riek Machar, for allegedly plotting a coup.
A recently-renewed ceasefire stipulates that warring parties must guarantee humanitarian aid unhindered access to millions in civilians in need in the world’s newest country.
– CAJ News