NGOs in South Sudan calls for standby humanitarian response to Sudan

By Emelda Siama John Lopula

The Non-Governmental Organization in South Sudan have called on regional and international stakeholders to spare no effort in pushing for an immediate cessation of hostilities safeguarding human rights, and the establishment of humanitarian corridor out of the worst-affected areas for sixth days conflict in Sudan.

Since the fighting erupted Saturday between forces loyal to Sudan’s army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his deputy, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, the commander of the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), who is commonly known as Hemedti, more than 400 people have reportedly been killed and thousands wounded.

The forces of two rival generals fought intense street battles in Sudan’s capital Khartoum on Friday, witnesses reported, as the warring parties ignored appeals for an end-of-Ramadhan ceasefire, AFP reported.

In a statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily newspaper, the Director NGO forum secretariat in South Sudan Cissy Kagaba called for the support in preparing for the humanitarian assistances responses in Sudan as well as in neighboring countries including South Sudan.

“Appalled by the state of Affairs in Sudan, as humanitarian actors in South Sudan-refugees hosting country, we call upon all parties to the conflict to immediately cease fighting and establish safe humanitarian corridors to those at risk and vulnerable populations can leave the worst-affected areas if they so wish” Cissy said.

Director Cissy further requested that “Regional stakeholders must also keep border open to allow vulnerable communities to seek protection should they wish to do so” adding, “the population fleeing conflict have the right to protection,”.

She said that Donors should quickly pull together a plan for supporting humanitarian partners to be able to respond through flexible funding targeting both the refugees and returnees since Sudan is hosting many south Sudanese refugees.

“Promotion of dynamic needs flexible funding not tied to specific target group, humanitarian partners foresee both refugees and returnees affected the same. The support should also extend to host population that has been affected by various shocks in the two countries” she said

Cissy also appealed that as humanitarian Agencies are preparing for potential response, donors should be proactive in making support available to enable efficient and timely responses to the needs of the affected populations.  

She however stressed that the UN Security Council and the international community more broadly should ramp up their call for a diplomatic solution to the problem prevailing in Sudan and give priority to the protection of the vulnerable population.

She hinted that in South Sudan, all actors should understand and respect the international convention on the protection of refugees and support the government in facilitating the reception of any refugee populations likely to arrive in South Sudan.

“The implication of the conflict in Sudan is wide-reaching across the region and will certainly be felt here in South Sudan. Every stakeholder has a role to play in ensuring the meeting of humanitarian needs and those civilians, alongside our humanitarian colleagues are protected from harm on both side of the border” she added.

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