(September 12, 2019, JUBA, South Sudan) The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is pleased with the positive progress in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
The face – to – face meeting between H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the First Vice President-Designate, H.E Dr. Riek Machar Teny that resulted in a way forward on pending Security Arrangements issues, is a significant step in the right direction.
“The remaining critical tasks of the agreement can only be completed with unity and compromise. The mood in Juba is very encouraging. It is feasible to form a unity government in November 2019,” said Ambassador Ismail Wais, the Special Envoy of IGAD for South Sudan.
“We call on the non-signatory groups to come in from the cold and join the nation-building and solutions,” Ambassador Wais added.
IGAD reiterates its commitment and support of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).
We call on the International Community and the friends of South Sudan to support the positive momentum and expedite their support for the completion of the remaining critical tasks.
IGAD commends President Salva Kiir Mayardit for his leadership to broker a peace deal between the rebels and the government in the Republic of Sudan. It is clear demonstration of the potential role South Sudan can play in the security of the region.
Two cholera treatment centres are treating patients in Blue Nile State and a dedicated isolation centre has been established for cholera case management.
KHARTOUM, Sudan, September 11, 2019 – The World Health Organization (WHO) is working closely with national health authorities and partners to respond to cases of cholera in Blue Nile State in south-eastern Sudan.
Between 28 August and 10 September, Sudan’s Federal Ministry of Health reported at least 51 cases of acute watery diarrhoea in Blue Nile State, including at least 3 deaths. Samples taken from 6 patients and sent for analysis to the Ministry’s National Public Health Laboratory showed that 4 of the 6 samples tested positive for Vibrio cholerae.
“Due to suboptimal health conditions and poor safe water and sewage system structures, exacerbated by polluted water sources caused by recent floods, there is a risk of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases spreading if no immediate response interventions take place,” said Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative in Sudan.
To monitor and contain the outbreak, WHO has surged a team of public health experts to Blue Nile State; other international experts will soon follow. The WHO team is working with health authorities to strengthen disease surveillance, provide medical treatment for patients, distribute laboratory supplies, monitor water quality and chlorinate public water supplies, and promote health education and hygiene among affected and at-risk communities. Two cholera treatment centres are treating patients in Blue Nile State, and a dedicated isolation centre has been established for cholera case management. To date, 30 patients have been discharged after receiving treatment.
Early and effective response is the best means to stopping an outbreak in its tracks. Given the timely recognition of the cholera cases by the Federal Ministry of Health with full transparency in reporting to WHO under the International Health Regulations, and the swift scale-up of response, we are hopeful that we can soon contain this disease and minimize the number of cases,” added Dr Al-Gasseer.
A statement from James Reynolds, ICRC’s head of delegation in South Sudan, on the situation in the country one year after the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
JUBA, South Sudan, September 11, 2019 – One year after the signing of the peace deal, violence is still pervasive in South Sudan, as clashes between communities threaten lives and the fragile stability.
Surgical teams from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continue to treat a large number of patients with gunshot wounds, while needs of the most affected communities remain high. Redoubled efforts are needed to bring a durable peace.
The number of patients with injuries from violence admitted to our surgical units have increased since the signing of the peace deal. From October 2017 to June 2018, 526 patients were admitted, mostly with gunshot wounds. The same period a year later (October 2018 to June 2019) we had 688, an increase of nearly 25 percent. In only one week in April, the ICRC evacuated by air 39 patients with weapon wounds to a hospital we support, forcing us to increase the number of beds in the unit by a third to accommodate the needs.
Violence is also impacting health centres. ICRC teams have collected information on 24 incidents in which facilities were looted or staff threatened since the signing of the peace deal, and this data may only reflect part of the incidents affecting health structures and personnel. In a country where so few health care facilities are functioning after decades of war and under-development, the closure of even one clinic means entire communities go without care, turning preventable, treatable diseases deadly.
The last year has also seen little improvement for most South Sudanese. There are more people facing food insecurity today in the country than at any point since the armed conflict between government forces and the opposition started more than five years ago. People are living in limbo, and recent clashes in some parts of the country, such as Equatoria, continue to displace thousands of people who are then unable to harvest their crops and instead rely on humanitarian aid.
Families have been torn apart by decades of conflict. Today, the ICRC is searching for more than 4,200 South Sudanese whose relatives have reported them as missing. Tragically, with four million South Sudanese still displaced inside the country and across its borders, the number of people who do not know where their loved ones are is likely much higher. Knowing the fate of their missing relatives would offer many South Sudanese the opportunity to move on.
The ICRC has been in South Sudan since its independence in 2011. We also served the needs of South Sudanese during the Sudan’s long war. We can say through firsthand experience that it is impossible to exaggerate the toll that decades of war, violence and uncertainty have had on communities.
It is our hope that the peace deal holds. The return to full-scale conflict in South Sudan could mean that civilians are again exposed to deliberate attacks and displacement, despite being protected under international law.
However, even if today’s current conditions hold, the levels of violence in South Sudan between communities, made possible by the easy access to guns in the country, will continue to threaten the peace and stability that South Sudanese need to recover and rebuild a country that has largely only known war.