South Sudan's President Warns of 'Man-Made' Famine if Fighting Continues
President Salva Kiir of South Sudan is warning that his country will face "one of the worst famines ever" if rebels continue violating terms of a ceasefire.
According to BBC News, Kiir said the famine "is not our making," but is, rather, a "man-made disaster, which is why we want the war to stop."
Fighting with rebel forces "erupted last December after [President Kiir] alleged that [former Deputy Riek] Machar was plotting a coup." Since that time, "some one million people have fled their homes." BBC went on to state, "The United Nations has accused both sides of crimes against humanity, including mass killings and gang-rape."
President Kiir said the fighting must end "to allow humanitarian access to the country" and that "if Riek Machar was to understand that the civilian population is going to face one of the worst famines there has ever been, this is the time."
BBC reported, "The unrest has assumed ethnic overtones, with Mr. Machar relying heavily on fighters from his Nuer ethnic group and Mr. Kiir from his Dinka community."
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