South Sudanese in Australia Demand Relocation of IDPs; Call for the Release of Four Remaining Political Detainees

Victoria, February 13, 2014 (SSNA) — The South Sudan Advocacy Group (SSAG), has submitted a petition to the Australian Government, United States Embassy in Australia, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) regional representative, asking for all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to be relocated to neighboring countries.

The group believes that Ethiopia and Kenya are safe for the IDPs, citing safety as one of its main concerns.

The group condemns the killing of civilians and urges Australia, U.S., and UN to help secure the release of the four remaining political prisoners so that they can join peace talks in Ethiopia.

“We strongly condemn this brutal killing, which resulted in mass killing and massive displacement of millions of people”, the statement reads in part.

“We are requesting the United States of America, United Nations, Australian Government, IGAD, and the international community to act immediately”, the statement continue.

The Australian-based advocacy block reaffirms its call for the withdrawal of all foreign forces in South Sudan.

“[We]…demand the withdrawal of Ugandan forces, SPLA –North, Sudan rebels Blue Nile section, and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM)…[to leave South Sudan] immediately”, it added.

The agency also wants South Sudan’s government and the opposition forces to respect the ceasefire and allow humanitarian access to the affected areas.

The United Nations estimates that nearly one million people have been displaced by the conflict and tens of thousands fled to the neighboring countries.

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