UN chief accuses South Sudan’s govt of ignoring famine

Antonio Guterres has accused South Sudan’s government of refusing to express ‘any meaningful concern’ about the plight of 100,000 people suffering from famine.

Operation Lifeline Sudan helps about 2.5 million displaced people facing famine in the Sudan. Picture: United Nations Photo.

JOHANNESBURG - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has accused South Sudan’s government of refusing to express “any meaningful concern” about the plight of 100,000 people suffering from famine, 7.5 million in need of humanitarian aid and thousands more fleeing fighting.

The UN chief has delivered a sharp rebuke to the country's President Salva Kiir, saying most often the international community hears denials and even refusals by the leadership to even acknowledge the crisis.

There were high hopes that South Sudan would have peace and stability after its independence from neighbouring Sudan in 2011.

But the country plunged into ethnic violence in December 2013 when forces loyal to Kiir started battling those loyal to Riek Machar, his former vice president.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)