Monday 1 June 2015
South Sudan expels UN humanitarian coordinator
June 1, 2015 (JUBA) – The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki Moon has condemned South Sudan’s decision to expel its humanitarian coordinator in the country.
- United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, talking to the media during a press conference on August 28, 2014 in Juba (AFP/Samir Bol)
“This has been necessary because of continuing violence by both parties in the absence of a comprehensive peace agreement,” the secretary-general said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
South Sudan’s ongoing conflict began in December 2013 and has been marked by brutal violence against civilians and deepening suffering across the country. Some 119,000 people are sheltered in UN compounds across the country, the world body said.
In recent weeks, however, the fighting in the country has worsened considerably with reports of widespread killings, rapes, abductions and the burning and destruction of towns and villages, particularly throughout South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states.
The UN chief, however, called on South Sudan government to reverse its decision immediately, further urging it to fully cooperate with all UN entities in the country.
Lanzer, who also doubled as the deputy special representative of the UN secretary general, was due to end of his term in South Sudan before leaving for the Sahel region.
The secretary general has appointed Ghana’s Eugene Owusu as Lanzer’s successor.
In November 2014, South Sudan expelled a UN official who carried out investigations into the human rights situation in the country.The expulsion was reportedly linked to a report published in August, accusing the army of torture, rapes, killings and abduction.
The UN condemned the decision, which is said violated South Sudan’s legal obligations.
In recent years, however, domestic and international human rights bodies have accused the South Sudanese army of gross human rights violations, allegations it has dismissed.