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Western Equatoria charity left destitute

15 January 2016

UN PHOTO/JC MCILWAINE

Relative safety: a scene from the UN Mission in South Sudan's Protection of Civilians Site 3, in Juba, in neighbouring Central Equatoria, in October

Relative safety: a scene from the UN Mission in South Sudan's Protection of Civilians Site 3, in Juba, in neighbouring Central Equatoria, in Oct...

THOUSANDS of people in Western Equatoria, in South Sudan, are living in the bush in fear of their lives, and the charity supporting them has been left helpless after violence in the troubled region.

The executive director of the Mundri Relief and Development Association (MRDA), Brian Badi, said that the looting of the charity’s headquarters in the autumn had left it with nothing. He was visiting the UK to try to raise funds to allow the charity to begin work again, providing health care and educational opportunities to about 50,000 people.

The charity has been supported by Christian Aid. Mr Badi said that he was grateful for its continued support.

“After the violence and looting, everything has gone,” he said. “Everything has been wiped out. All our field operations have had to stop. No emergency relief has got to the area, and those who haven’t fled to refugee camps in Uganda have fled to the bush, and are living off roots and fruit.

“We have to start again from the beginning. For many people, the MRDA was their local government, and they came to us as a first port of call, and have done so for the past 24 years. We feel helpless to help them.”

The UN Refugee Agency said that about 15,000 people had been displaced by conflict in the region since last month.

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