South Sudan: rebels open humanitarian corridor near Ethiopia

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar. Photo: AFP

NEWSROOM (ADV) – South Sudan rebels of the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA-O) announced Friday that humanitarian aid convoys to Pibor (east), near Ethiopia, have been allowed for the first time since, the resumption of violence in 2016.

Bieh region spokesman John Daniel Bol said in a statement that they had authorized, on the orders of their leader Riek Machar, to allow Pibor aid convoys to enter Pibor. World Food Program (WFP) from East Akobo County.

Several NGOs such as Doctors without Borders had suspended their operations in the region because of armed attacks and looting of their centers.

Pibor has also been involved in livestock theft and child abductions by the Murle tribe, which is also causing problems in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.

The opening of this corridor comes after the army and rebels discussed Tuesday ways to forge the unity of the country and strengthen the implementation of a recent peace agreement.

Lam Paul Gabriel, SPLA-O deputy spokesman, added that his group would also open access between Yei and Lainya, as well as between Lasu and Kaya in the province of Central Equatoria (south), a former theater of violence.

South Sudan sank into civil war in late 2013, prompting one of the world’s worst refugee crises. The UN estimates that about four million people have become displaced or refugees.

A peace agreement signed in August 2015 shattered as a result of further violence in the capital, Juba, in July 2016. Under a new peace agreement signed last September, former vice president Riek Machar must be reinstated in office alongside President Salva Kiir.

© Bur-csa – N.W – African Daily Voice (ADV)