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UN: S.Sudan Citizens 'Deliberately Starved' by Warring Parties

UN: S.Sudan Citizens 'Deliberately Starved' by Warring Parties

Thursday, 20 February, 2020 - 10:30
FILE PHOTO: South Sudanese refugees gather with their belongings after crossing into Uganda at the Ngomoromo border post in Lamwo district, northern Uganda, April 4, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer/File photo
Asharq Al-Awsat

South Sudan's government forces and other armed groups have "deliberately starved" civilians by denying aid access and displacing communities, the United Nations said Thursday.

"Today in South Sudan, civilians are deliberately starved, systematically surveilled and silenced, arbitrarily arrested and detained and denied meaningful access to justice," Agence France Presse quoted a report from a UN rights probe as saying.

The three-member commission looked into abuses between the signing of a peace deal in September 2018 and December 2019.

The panel delivered a damning indictment of "predatory and unaccountable elites" and the suffering of civilians after six years of conflict.

The report comes two days before the latest deadline to form a unity government -- a process beset with delays and bickering, and "lack of political will", according to the commission. 

"Political elites remained oblivious to the intense suffering of millions of civilians for whom they were ostensibly fighting," it said.

South Sudan declared independence from Sudan in 2011 but plunged into civil war in 2013 when President Salva Kiir sacked his then deputy Riek Machar.

The conflict killed an estimated 400,000 people, triggered a famine and created Africa's biggest refugee crisis since the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

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