Warring parties in South Sudan must prioritise security and the opening of safe passages to get food, water and medicines to millions, aid workers said on Thursday, after a peace deal aimed at ending conflict in the world’s youngest country.
South Sudan signed a peace agreement with rebels on Wednesday, including a ceasefire to start in 72 hours and the humanitarian corridors, in a bid to end an almost five-year war that has plunged the African nation into a humanitarian crisis.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed, and one in three South Sudanese have been uprooted from their homes. Nearly seven million people need basic food, water and medicines, says the United Nations.
But the first thing we need is to ensure safety and security to get relief materials to civilians, as our movements are restricted due to the threat of violence in some areas.
South Sudan rivals sign peace deal, effective after 72 hoursCautiously optimistic about peace deal
Although previous peace deals have broken down, aid workers said they are cautiously optimistic, adding that the first priority was to ensure there was a cessation in hostilities.
“People are sceptical as we’ve been here before, but we are hopeful,” Janardhan Rao, country director for the charity Mercy Corps, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from the capital Juba.
Source : africanews