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UN humanitarian arm calls for more donors' aid to South Sudan

(Xinhua)

09:34, January 11, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has asked international donors for more assistance to help those affected by recent clashes in Jonglei state of South Sudan, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here Tuesday.

"The office says that the areas that need to be accessed are extremely remote and can only be reached by air," Nesirky said here at a daily news briefing.

"Delivering aid by air is more expensive than by road and the office is calling on donors to contribute to the appeal already launched for South Sudan. As you know, it's currently financed to about eight percent," he said.

Jonglei state has been the scene of confrontations between the Murle and Lou Nuer peoples, who have a history of conflict over land and resources for cattle grazing.

"The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that the assessment of the situation in South Sudan's Jonglei state is continuing," Nesirky said. "A humanitarian team is in Pibor today to set up a response hub."

A group of Lou Nuer fighters began entering the town of Pibor on the last day of 2011, causing the Murle people of the town to flee their homes. The Lou Nuer left on Jan. 3 but left behind a problematic humanitarian situation.

Nesirky noted that the head of the UN Refugee Agency has been in South Sudan, visiting Joba and a camp for internally displaced persons(IDPs).

"The High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres who is wrapping up his visit to South Sudan today has said that without international help the country would not be able to respond to the multiple crises it faces and could see a humanitarian disaster of enormous proportions," said Nesirky.

Aside from the conflict between the Murle and Lou Nuer, there has also been fighting in South Sudan between the Sudanese Armed Forces(SAF) and the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement-North ( SPLM-N) in the Blue Nile State. The fighting has caused thousands in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan states to flee their homes.

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