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YEI - 12 Feb 2019

Families displaced by fighting 'living under trees' in Yei

Over 300 internally displaced persons forced out of their homes because of fighting in Yei River State are in desperate need of help, an official said.

Majority of the displaced, mainly women, children and the elderly encamped in Wuluturu, an area about one kilometer south of Yei town.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, the state gender and social development minister, Christine Anite Philip said those displaced are currently living under trees without either food or non-food items.

She appealed to humanitarian organizations operating in the state to deliver emergency assistance to the conflict-displaced families.

“There are many people here coming from different areas of Otogo and they are desperate under the trees for the past three days without food and non-food items. I am kindly calling on the humanitarian partners to rescue these people with food items like beans, flour and mats so that these people can sustain their living here,” said Anite.

Continued fighting, throughout last week, between South Sudan government forces and rebels loyal to General Thomas Cirilo Swaka’s National Salvation Front (NAS) has displaced hundreds of civilians in remote villages of Mugwo, Otogo and Lugulo counties.

Rose Salah, an elderly woman, told Radio Tamazuj how angry looking soldiers raided Morsak village and she lost all her properties.

She could not identify the soldiers, but said different armed groups shot guns and burnt villages, displacing civilians to various locations.

“I came here on Sunday evening and we have nothing. I am feeling body pains all over because we walked the whole night until we reached Yei town. I don’t even have flour to prepare porridge,” said Salah.

She further added, “I am calling on the NGOs to help us with food and non-food items”.

One of the areas badly affected by the country’s civil war, Yei River State has witnessed human rights violations and massive displacement since 2016.