UNHCR Describes Dire Insecurity in Yei

Yei River
Yei River

By Radio Tamazuj:

The UN is increasingly concerned about roughly 100,000 people trapped in the Yei region amid increasing insecurity in the area.

“Terrorized men and women spoke of horrific violence against civilians before and during their flight, including assault, targeted killing, mutilation, looting and burning of property. Several civilians have been hacked to death, including women and infants,” said UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler in a press release, describing a recent agency visit to the area.“There are reports that many young men, aged between 17 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of siding with the opposition.”

Since fighting erupted in the capital in July, Yei and the Equatoria region have seen intense fighting between government, opposition, and local militia forces. Roughly 100,000 people have fled to neighboring Uganda, and UN officials say that they are forced to pay taxes by governemnt and opposition soldiers. Access to the area for UN peacekeepers has been previously restricted.

“Tens of thousands of displaced are sheltering in abandoned houses and smaller numbers in church compounds and are facing a serious shortage of food and medicine,” Spindler added.

While humanitarian agencies are mobilizing to respond, their access is uncertain, Spindler added.

This article is republished courtesy of Radio Tamazuj, a daily news service and current affairs broadcaster covering South Sudan, the southern states of Sudan, and the borderlands between the two countries.

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