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South Sudan: ICRC calls for an end to violence against civilians

22-02-2014 News Release

Geneva/Juba – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. They must, as the law requires, ensure that civilians and people no longer participating in hostilities are respected and spared from all forms of violence.

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“We are shocked by the recent reports of violence targeting civilians and people who are no longer taking part in the fighting, of deliberate killings and sexual violence,” said Melker Mabeck, head of the ICRC’s delegation in South Sudan. “There have also been reports of health-care facilities being destroyed and patients being attacked: we are extremely concerned about this as well.”

The ICRC reminds all the parties to the conflict of their obligation to ensure that health-care personnel and humanitarian workers are shown due regard and allowed to carry out their duties. Property, facilities and vehicles associated with medical and humanitarian work must all be spared.

“Hundreds of thousands of people remain without shelter and without access to food, water or urgent medical care because of the precarious security conditions and their fear of being attacked,” Mr Mabeck said. “The needs are immense and pressing, and it is imperative that humanitarian work be allowed to continue in safety.”

Since the onset of the violence in mid-December, the ICRC and the South Sudan Red Cross have been working closely to address the most urgent needs throughout the country. At present, the ICRC is working in the states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity, Central and Western Equatoria (including Juba), Lakes, and Warrap, and in Greater Bahr el Ghazal.

An audiovisual interview with Melker Mabeck, head of the ICRC’s delegation in South Sudan, will soon be available. 

For further information, please contact:
Marco Yuri Jimenez, ICRC Juba, tel: +211 912 360 038  
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 31 49 or +41 79 244 64 05