Media Contact:Lauren Fisher
JUBA, South Sudan (April 20, 2012) — World Vision welcomes the announcement of the withdrawal of South Sudan troops that had occupied Heglig, the latest in a series of events that has increased the risk of war between the two countries.
“This announcement comes with a great sense of relief to the children that we serve as well as to the entire humanitarian community that spent the last couple of days focusing on conflict,” World Vision’s program director in South Sudan, Edwin Asante, said.
He cautioned that for this forming peace to hold, the international community needs to act quickly to ensure that the contentious issues around oil revenues and frontier demarcation are addressed.
It has been reported that the office of the President of South Sudan announced the order to withdraw troops from Heglig in response to United Nations Security Council president and other world leaders’ calls to create an environment for dialogue.
“War drums have been actively diverting attention from issues of child health, nutrition, education and food security and generating a lot of anxiety around the safety of children. We need to guard this delicate calm jealously,” Asante added.
The cease in fighting will enable World Vision to continue its humanitarian response, work in the border regions adversely affected by the conflict and fighting and continue to provide child friendly spaces across the country.
The withdrawal of SPLA forces from Heglig and a cease in fighting also means that World Vision’s staff in Upper Nile and Unity are safe to continue their work in providing relief, education and to reunite displaced and returnee children with their relatives.
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews