UN Humanitarian Official to Visit South Sudan

Posted January 31st, 2012 at 7:45 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations is sending a senior official for humanitarian affairs on a mission to South Sudan.

In a statement Tuesday, the world body announced that Valerie Amos, U.N. Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, will visit Central Equatoria and Jonglei states from Wednesday to Friday.

The statement says during her mission to South Sudan, Amos will visit Central Equatoria's capital, Juba, and will meet with the government officials, donors and aid agencies.

The U.N. says that in Jonglei state, the recent spike in communal violence has aggravated an already troubling humanitarian situation in South Sudan. Last year in South Sudan, more than 350,000 people were displaced in rebel violence and inter-communal clashes. The U.N. says that since June 2011, military operations in Sudan's Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states have forced approximately 80,000 people to seek refuge across the border in South Sudan.

The world organization says that food insecurity in the region is growing, and that humanitarian groups are responding to emergency needs among the more than 360,000 South Sudanese who have returned from Sudan since late 2010.

South Sudan split from Sudan last July, taking with it 75 percent of the oil production. Unresolved issues between the two sides are a source of ceaseless tensions.

The U.N. warns that the current political impasse between Sudan and South Sudan could plunge the humanitarian situation in the new country into a dangerous decline.