US warns South Sudan over “deliberate starvation tactics”

US Deputy Ambassador to UN Michele Sison. Photo: AP

New York/Juba, March 23, 2017 (SSNA) — The United States has warned South Sudanese government over what it described as “deliberate starvation tactics,” saying Juba is deliberately preventing humanitarian organizations to reach famine-hit areas.

Deputy US Ambassador to the United Nations Michele Sison told the 15-member UN Security Council that South Sudan famine is a result of South Sudanese leaders who are more interested in power and personal gain.

“The famine is not a result of drought, it is the result of leaders more interested in political power and personal gain than in stopping violence and allowing humanitarian access,” Sison said, adding “The government’s continued unconscionable impediments to humanitarians seeking access to famine-stricken populations may amount to deliberate starvation tactics.”

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Ambassador to UN Petr Illichev rejected US statement, asserting that the famine was “linked not just to problems with security, but also with inclement weather conditions.”

The warning comes as the new US government is considering ways to end South Sudan civil war.

South Sudan’s government has in the past accused by United Nations and humanitarian agencies of impeding the delivery of foods to areas affected by the famine.

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