South Sudan says not blocking humanitarian aid, fuel trucks; UN says no movement yet-Xinhua

South Sudan says not blocking humanitarian aid, fuel trucks; UN says no movement yet

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-24 04:03:30

UNITED NATIONS, April 23 (Xinhua) -- While the United Nations accepts South Sudan's assurances that it is not blocking humanitarian aid trucks, the vehicles are not yet moving, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

"I can tell you that we acknowledge today's (Tuesday's) assurance from the Government of South Sudan that the imposition of taxes on fuel and supply trucks does not apply to the UN's humanitarian, development, and peacekeeping operations or to the diplomatic community," said Stephane Dujarric, chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

"However, we remain concerned that fuel trucks are still being held up at various depots and the border," Dujarric said. They will not be able to support communities in need across South Sudan.

He said humanitarian workers in the country report that the situation is now critical with fuel reserves running out.

The spokesman said that preventing the delivery of millions of dollars of aid during a severe humanitarian crisis and diverting already stretched funding provided by donors and other UN member states to assist the people of South Sudan is unfortunate.

Dujarric said the immediate impact of halting the trucks is suspending humanitarian airdrops, which will affect 60,000 men, women and children in need.

He said the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, known as UNMISS, was forced to review peacekeeping patrols and road repairs and reduce support for peace and electoral processes.

The spokesman said the head of UNMISS, Nicholas Haysom, reports that urgent action is needed to get the trucks moving and ensure that support for South Sudan does not grind to a halt.

"The situation is also affecting our peacekeeping mission in Abyei, because their cargo must enter Abyei via South Sudan," said Dujarric.

Abyei is the contested enclave between war-torn Sudan and South Sudan.