UN calls on South Sudan to admit aid workers as hunger looms after truce


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The Independent Online

The UN has called for the two sides in South Sudan to allow access to aid agencies and humanitarian groups to help avoid a hunger crisis, following the peace deal signed on Friday.

The deal between President Salva Kiir and rebel commander Riek Machar, set to come into effect last night, follows months of sectarian fighting which has left thousands dead. It calls a truce, and for the formation of a transitional government, before elections and a new constitution. But an accord signed in January was broken within days.

"An end to the violence will allow people some breathing space, to move around more safely, and to plant and take better care of themselves," Toby Lanzer, UN humanitarian co-ordinator in South Sudan, said in a statement, following the first meeting between Mr Kiir and Mr Machar since fighting began in December. A third of the population is experiencing emergency levels of food insecurity, according to the UN, with some areas at high risk of famine.