Strife continues in South Sudan as food aid meant for South Sudanese were looted in the space of two days.
The food aid looting occurred as chaos reigned supreme in the eastern African country.
As forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and VP Riek Machar clashed in the capital of South Sudan, Juba, the main logistics centre of the United Nation’s World Food Programme which supplies aid to other parts of the country was being plundered.
In a statement, WFP Deputy Regional Director Vernon Archibald said “WFP strongly condemns the theft of food intended for the poorest and most vulnerable people of South Sudan.
“While the extent of the looting is not yet clear, we fear that the loss of these vital food supplies will severely hamper WFP’s ability to assist the tens of thousands of people who have fled their homes because of the violence.”
Over 4,500 tonnes of food were stolen as well as the giant warehouses that stored the food aid.
The food aid was intended for vulnerable members of the community who have little or no access to food and water.
South Sudan has been trying for some time to stave off famine, the contentious environment has made many to flee their homes with little security and food. The UN Food programme, World Food Programme (WFP) has done its part in providing food to the war-torn South Sudan.
Fresh fighting began in South Sudan last weekend as the country celebrated its independence from Sudan. Both the government and former Rebel leader who have been in enmity for quite a while claimed to have no idea what was going on or who began the fight as they both ordered for a cease-fire. It would seem that some South Sudanese decided to take advantage of the chaos and anarchy to steal some food.
Some UN officials have been ordered to relocate for their safety. The United Nations expressed its regret for the food aid looting in South Sudan but said it will not stop providing aid to the war-torn country.
A spokesperson for the United Nations peace-keeping mission in South Sudan (UNIMISS) said the organisation “will continue running critical operations to support the people of South Sudan, including protecting civilians and providing humanitarian assistance.”