Igad divisions fuelling South Sudan crisis, says UN

Wednesday June 7 2017

Internally displaced persons wait to receive food rations at the UNMISS Protection of Civilian site in Bentiu, Unity State, on February 27, 2015. PHOTO | AFP

Internally displaced persons wait to receive food rations at the UNMISS Protection of Civilian site in Bentiu, Unity State, on February 27, 2015. Unity State is one of the areas most affected by war and famine in South Sudan. PHOTO | AFP 

By JOSEPH ODUHA

The United Nations has blamed regional leaders for the failure to end the war in South Sudan.

The director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Mr José Graziano da Silva, said the South Sudan warring factions were exploiting the divisions among the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (Igad) leaders.

Mr Graziano said in a statement issued by the UN office in New York Tuesday, that a fraction of the Igad leaders supported the government of President Salva Kiir, while another fraction was allied to the rebels under Dr Riek Machar.

The Igad leaders, he said, have the political strength to put to an end the long running civil strife.

The FAO boss noted that the division within the regional bloc was worsening the hunger crisis in the war-ravaged country.

He said donors were fatigued as they were seeing no results for their efforts.

The UN official hinted that there was no political will from the Juba government in the fight against hunger due to high levels of corruption.

South Sudan has been in conflict since December 2013 when President Kiir and his then deputy Dr Machar fell out.

The resultant war mostly took the character of an ethnic Dinka versus Nuer conflict.

President Kiir is a Dinka while Dr Machar belongs to the Nuer community.

Igad member countries include Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.