Leer County residents receive food after months in swamps

Juba, December 19, 2015 (SSNA) — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has delivered food to tens of thousands of residents of Leer County of the oil-rich Unity State.

In an ICRC’s video obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA), the visibly exhausted, nervous, and desperate civilians many of whom children, women, and elderly people, can be seen in long lines receiving ration cards and eager to return to swamps they now call homes.

It is not the first time that the Geneva-based humanitarian agency delivers food to the residents of Leer town. ICRC has in the past delivered food to Leer residents in July but halted further deliveries and withdrawn its personnel after it received threats and its offices looted.

Leer County is the hometown of Former South Sudanese Vice president and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny.

It is estimated that close to 4 million South Sudanese “face life-threatening hunger.”

ICRC says its compound, warehouses, and many vehicles have been damaged and that “running operation in this area [Leer County] remains very challenging."

Local and international organizations have repeatedly accused South Sudan’s government and its allied forces of rape, kidnapping, widespread destruction, killing, and mass looting.

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