Crisis in South Sudan
Since the beginning of the 2013 civil war in Sudan, nearly 4 million people have been forced to flee their homelands and are constantly moving across territories in and out of the country, often to end up in overflowing camps with minimal security and limited food. 300,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the war and millions face starvation. Starvation cannot be resolved without peace and today South Sudan faces an acute humanitarian crisis due to ongoing conflict. Peace must be restored in order to revive agricultural production and ensure food security and a future for the peoples of South Sudan.
Europe Peace Foundation asserts the need for peace between the parties in the conflict, urging an atmosphere of dialogue and respect focused on the wellbeing of all humans. We call for a de-escalation of military expenditure and the use of income from oil sales to support humanitarian efforts and, most importantly, restore security so people can return to their homelands.
Most people in Sudan have lived a rural life where farming is essential for each family´s livelihood. People know how to farm their lands and can revive their crops, but there must be peace keeping forces securing areas for people´s safe return. In additional to the breakdown of food production caused by mass migrations, people in camps and displaced in foreign areas are often in a situation of conflict with other groups and with their host societies, creating further tensions and violence. We ask of all UN members to support peace keeping missions and help organizations deliver humanitarian aid securely by working with local governments on the safe-passage of returnees.
The Europe Peace Foundation (EPF) will work on the urgent need for community building and building bridges amongst different ethnicities, clans and rival towns, especially after so much violence and strife.
Overcrowded living conditions, poor sanitation, shortage of water, malnutrition and poor immunity, particularly among young children and pregnant women, have led to high infant mortality and pregnancy-related deaths. Nearly 8- 10 women die daily due to pregnancy-related complications, with an estimated 1,900 newborns die each year. Treatable diseases are still prevalent such as cholera, measles, and polio.
The EPF joins the international effort of governments, donors and aid organization in targeting the spread of diseases and capacitating on epidemic preparedness, by establishing mobile vaccination posts to deliver priority health services to targeted areas. These posts will also be points of delivery for basic first aid and water tablets.
One of the most atrocious realities of the wars in Sudan has been the abuse of children. The amount of girls that are sexually abused and boys that are recruited for war is staggering, and often government and police officers are to blame. Sexual and gender-based violence is used as a weapon by government soldiers against women and girls based on their ethnicity. In some camps, up to 70% of women have been raped, with police and officials perpetrating most crimes. Moreover, male children are often recruited and used as child soldiers with the UN estimating that more than 17,000 children have been used in the conflict so far with over 2,500 children soldiers today. The main recruiters are the government forces. The use of child soldiers translates also into a loss of schools for other children since child soldiers use them as their homes, preventing others from using the premises for classes.
The Europe Peace Foundation implores the EU and western democracies to work tirelessly with international aid and emergency relief organizations on securing a safe environment for children to live as children. In Europe Peace Foundation we are prepared to work with projects aiding children that have experience intense violence and trauma to reduce feelings of fear and vulnerability and work on strengthening a sense of trust in themselves and towards others.