January 9, 2017 (LEER) – Humanitarian operation in Southern Liech, one of South Sudan’s new states is on the decline, with aid workers accusing the country’s two main rival forces of blocking their work.
- A group of displaced women wait registration under mango tree in Nzara county, 2010 (ST Photo)
James Andrew, an area aid worker, told Sudan Tribune Monday that security in Leer town and its surrounding villages is on the decline.
“It has not been easy for us to reach the victims in several places. Both pro-government forces and armed rebels harass us as we take assistance to the vulnerable civilians displaced by war,” he said.
Mary, a 28-year humanitarian worker on ground also echoed the mistreatments of non-governmental organization workers in the area.
“We have been facing hardships while giving assistance to the committees affected by the conflicts, whether in areas held by government or SPLM-IO [South Sudan armed opposition faction. It had never been an easy task to reach those in need,” she said.
The government chief whip, Khan Nin Yieh, claims the dismissal of the deputy governor has affected the achievement of peace and unity.
He said the removal of Simon Chuol Biel at this particular time, will be more difficult for the operation, describing the former deputy governor as the most understanding leader on the government side.
“The deputy governor remains the simplest man, who always stands with everybody in Southern Liech state in particular his cooperation with several aid workers, making their work easy on ground,” he said.
Southern Liech remains one of the areas currently being contested between the armed opposition forces and South Sudan army (SPLA).
Leer town had been a scene of fierce battles between South Sudan’s warring factions, with Human Right Watch documenting what it says are some of the worst human rights abuses in the country.