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February 27th , 2014 - Humanitarian Situation Needs Urgent Attention

7th. February , 2014, (Juba) there is a new trend merging up as a result of the political crisis and is hurtful to humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The introduction of roadblocks by Communities along highways leading to the needy areas is negatively affecting the humanitarian situation. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) after critical observation of the situation is deeply concern about the challenges facing humanitarian intervention in some parts of the country, and brings to the attention of conflicting parties’ leadership the wrong actions exhibited on the humanitarian access by both parties. This situation is practically observed on Juba-Bentiu road and is merging up on Juba-Bor road.

The Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) Mr. Edmund Yakani said introduction of roadblocks by the traditional authorities is not a good practice. “The phenomenon of roadblocks introduced by the traditional authorities in the government controlled areas is a wrong practice as it disturbs access to humanitarian aid.

We welcome the letter issued by the ministry of gender, child welfare, social development, humanitarian and disaster management informing the government authorities at state and local government levels not put attempts that hinder mobility of humanitarian trucks in delivering services to the persons in need. The letter is okay but it needs to be circulated quickly to the states and counties’ authorities especially on Juba-Bentiu and Juba-Bor corridors”, Yakani added.

The introduction of roadblocks by the local authorities at their various capacities is a stumbling block for humanitarian intervention. Trucks taking humanitarian aid such as food and nonfood items to the needy persons are taxed. CEPO has the estimate that, humanitarian trucks will be forced to pay an amount of 3,000-6,000 US dollars per truck that goes from Juba to Bentiu and amount ranging from 1,000-3,000 US dollars for Juba-Bor road. It is also likely that humanitarian trucks will be looted at gunpoint at the borders under the conflicting parties, this should not be ignored.

However, the international community should put pressure on the conflicting parties in South Sudan to resolve their political difference early before the rain season begins for safe return of the internally displaced persons to original homes.

Consequently, CEPO urges the conflicting parties to show their commitment in upholding the principles for maintaining safety of humanitarian intervention and it is high time to say No to war and encourage political dialogue.