By Bida Elly David
The special representative for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to South Sudan has warned government against ethnic conflict, saying that it would worsen if not properly handled through consensus.
He said this during a press conference with journalists on the current security status of the Country in relation to the suffering of the refugees and the IDPs across the nation.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Arafat Jamal the UHCR Special representative to South Sudan also noted that South Sudan is in a devastating situation as many citizens suffer from continuous flooding and deadly ethnic conflict that displaced much population.
He stated that the United States report on South Sudan has been mainly centered on bad news regarding the lost hope of South Sudan driven from corruption, the people and climatic change.
Arafat underscored that South Sudanese do not only need humanitarian assistance rather services generated from good education, medical facilities improved infrastructure and agriculture for restoration of food insecurity.
“I would like to give a very concerned warning to the people of South Sudan and the people of the government to not allow this situation to continue. If it continues and further hardens on ethnic lines, I think, you will be witnessing an irreversible cycle of violence that has already begun and of which no body will come in to intervene and it will continue threatening all the gains that have been made in this Country,” he said.
He said that South Sudan has a great potential to develop through hard work and peaceful co-existence that would arise from total discouragement of ethnicity and high rate of corruption by the people.
Arafat said that the on-going violence in upper Nile has affected most developmental and livelihood projects that the citizens would have benefited from and broken apart the hopes of women into the box of total suffering.
He pointed out that no signs of peace and reconciliation among the fighting parties in Upper Nile despite the move initiated by the government to investigate the conflict saying that there is no real peace.
“One of the experiences I have witnessed in Upper Nile was the suffering of women inside water struggling to make their young ones survive. It has been one of the experiences that have never happened in any part of the world. Seeing people killing themselves on ethnic lines and properties lost is painful. I witnessed the conflicting parties who used to co-exist refused to meet. I have found this very worrying. We are trying to involve the religious community,” he said.
Moreover, he underscored the need for the government of South Sudan to use the peace roadmap as a pillar to end the on-going bloodshed and the suffering of the citizens.
Not only that, Arafat appreciated South Sudan for having exercised a democratic will to host other refugees from some parts of the world despite the terrible situation they are experiencing.
He revealed that South Sudan is currently hosting three hundred and forty (340) refugees in which 94% are Sudanese.
He said that UNHCR remained committed towards rendering “pockets of hope” to help returnees in various parts of the Country.
He revealed that over Six hundred thousand (600,000) returnees have come back home following the civil conflicts that broke years ago suggesting that state government needs to seriously engage in conflict sensitive resolutions.