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South Sudan: UN deputy humanitarian chief calls for end to civilian suffering

South Sudan: UN deputy humanitarian chief calls for end to civilian suffering

India Blooms News Service | | 27 Feb 2016, 08:55 am
New York, Feb 27 (Just Earth News/IBNS)The United Nations deputy humanitarian chief on Friday called on all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to protect civilians and grant safe and unhindered humanitarian access as she wrapped up a two-day visit to the African country.

Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, accompanied UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the visit to South Sudan, where they met Government officials and visited communities affected by the conflict.

During her mission, Kang also met humanitarian partners and the diplomatic community and visited Malakal, where she witnessed the devastating impact of the armed violence that took place on 17 and 18 February in the UN protection of civilians site.

“I am outraged by what I have seen in Malakal,” she said, noting that civilians who had sought safety at the site have been attacked, killed, traumatised and displaced once more, with the entire site, including medical clinics and schools, completely and systematically burnt down and destroyed.

“Those responsible for these heinous acts must be held to account,” she said.

The two-year conflict in South Sudan has taken a brutal and deadly toll on civilians. Recently, fighting has spread to new areas, including in Wau and Mundri, and there continue to be reports of people being raped and killed, and of homes and crops being destroyed and damaged by fighting.

Despite the peace agreement, civilians in the country continue to face destitution, destruction, death and devastation, and the humanitarian needs continue to grow, said Kang, calling for an end to the fighting, the protection of people caught in the middle, and immediate and unhindered access for humanitarian actors to all those in need.

Kang appealed to the international community to act immediately to avert an even greater tragedy in South Sudan, as humanitarian needs are higher now than ever.

The South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2016 is currently only 6.5 per cent funded, including the $21 million of Central Emergency Response Fund allocation announced by the Secretary-General in Juba on 25 February, leaving a gap of nearly $1.21 billion.

Some $220 million is needed without delay to ensure that vital supplies can be procured and delivered during the dry season, before nearly 60 per cent of the country is again unreachable by road.

UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm