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Thousands of IDPs face severe hunger in Unity State

Author : | Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thousands of people in Unity state face severe hunger after they were displaced by fighting.  

Eyewitnesses say thousands of people who fled Bentiu town last month have been joined by residents of Koch, Mayiandit, Leer and Panyijiar counties. All are fleeing to safe areas.

One NGO worker there told Eye Radio the hostilities are preventing humanitarian agencies from reaching the area with medical supplies and food.

Another Internally Displaced Person spoke to Eye Radio and said that children and older women have been affected by the fighting.

“We fled from Bentiu to Guit County and we continued to Leer and to Thonyor and on to the highland where I am now,” said Mr John (not real name).

“We are here with children and women, and they are suffering from hunger and lack of medical facilities.”

He said IDPs also lack clean drinking water.

Another eyewitness who spoke to Eye Radio said soldiers from both the government and Dr. Riek Machar’s side have been looting properties of people fleeing from the violence.

Eyewitnesses who are fleeing the fighting say civilians are being killed and houses burned.

One person says even though a cessation of hostilities agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, both sides are still fighting.

“We are calling on the international community and the people who are concerned for human lives to rescue us. Now we are trying to move up to a place where we can feel safe.”

IDPs in the area are refusing to return homes despite the call from the government of Unity State earlier this month urging civilians to go back to their residential areas.

Some people say they will not return home until a peace agreement is signed, and they are certain it will be safe.

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