New York

27 December 2013

Note to Correspondents on South Sudan

On the situation in South Sudan, the Spokesperson has the following to say:

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reports that approximately 63,000 civilians are now sheltering in UN bases around the country, including 25,000 in two Juba bases; 15,000 in Bor, 12,000 in Bentiu and 8,000 in Malakal.

UN peacekeepers continue to protect civilians in these locations, while humanitarian actors provide relief.

The UN Mission says that the security situation in Upper Nile and Unity States is tense, with reports of the presence of anti-Government and Government forces. Government forces are believed to have consolidated their positions in and around Bor, as well as at the airport. Anti-government forces remain in the vicinity and the situation remains tense.

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations says is working with other peacekeeping missions in the region, as well as troop and police contributing countries, in order to quickly mobilise personnel and equipment to be moved into South Sudan to strengthen the Mission’s protection of civilian capacity.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that at least 121,600 people have been displaced by the crisis in South Sudan since mid-December. Humanitarian organizations say the figure is expected to be higher.

Aid workers report that the priority needs of the affected communities include food, health care, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene services.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that aid agencies are responding to the needs and have delivered food to thousands of people in Juba, Bentiu, Malakal and Awerial. They have not been able to access the relief warehouse in Bor, because of insecurity. Reports indicate that it may have been looted.

Mobile clinics operating in UN facilities in Juba are carrying out 350 consultations per day, and measles and polio vaccination campaigns are scheduled to begin before the New Year.

Aid organisations have distributed mosquito nets, mattresses, tents and soap to displaced families and have set up 160 latrines at displacement sites in Juba.

The Secretary-General continues to reach out to leaders around the world to discuss the crisis in South Sudan.