Juba, May 11: The UN said on Monday that at least 300,000 people have been left without access to aid in the South Sudan's Unity state, as the agency had to evacuate humanitarian personnel due to escalating violence.
UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan Toby Lanzer said that "ongoing hostilities in Unity state have now obliged all non-governmental organisations and UN agencies to evacuate staff from Leer and other locations" south of the state's capital, Bentiu, according to a statement released on Monday.
As a result of the withdrawal, some 300,000 civilians are now in need of emergency assistance, such as food and medical supplies.
Lanzer explained that the escalation of violence in Unity state comes at a time when food stocks are depleted, "precisely at the height of the traditional planting season when civilians could be planting their crops in order to reap a harvest later this year".
The conflict in South Sudan erupted in December 2013 between forces under South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, from Dinka, and former vice president Riak Machar, from the Nuer tribe, which has caused thousands of deaths while two million others have been displaced.