June 21, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Following a two-days conference by the humanitarian wing of South Sudan’s SPLM/SPLA in Opposition in Nairobi, Kenya, the newly launched Relief Organization for South Sudan(ROSS) has drafted new resolutions to be mutually observed by the humanitarian organizations, the communities and rebel forces in the opposition held territories.
Launched in the presence of national and regional directors of many non-governmental organizations, the Relief Organization calls on the humanitarian organizations to remain independent, neutral and impartial while delivering services to the needy populations of South Sudan.
The leadership of the relief organization endorsed its commitment to Article 4 of the Cessation of Hostilities which calls for the facilitation of humanitarian assistance in the country.
In his speech, the Executive Director of the newly formed organization, calls on the humanitarian organizations to inform ROSS of their existence, mandate and operations in SPLM/A-IO held territory;
Cognizant of the roles played by the humanitarian organizations in the country, the leadership of ROSS reiterates its commitment to work with the humanitarian actors to mitigate risks and concerns of misappropriation or diversion of humanitarian assistance.
The organization further reiterates its commitment to corporate with the humanitarian actors in areas with limited accessibility for the humanitarian workers to reach vulnerable populations in barely hostile areas.
“ROSS is fully aware of the limitations faced by humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan and in IO areas and in particular the difficulty to access the suffering people in these hard-to-reach areas” part of the document reads.
“ROSS aims to facilitate free and open interaction to allow for lessons learned, sharing of information, solving emerging humanitarian challenges (safety and security of humanitarian workers, assets and supplies) and relevant issues between humanitarian agencies operating in SPLM/A-IO and ROSS” the report continues.
The resolutions further elaborates that the Humanitarian organizations operating in the SPLM/A-IO territory “shall not be subjected to taxes, fees or travel permits for humanitarian staff members or any other levies by ROSS or any other local authority”.
The opposition demands for equal treatments of South Sudan nationals in term of job employment to civilians in all parts of the country irrespective of tribes, cultures and political affiliations.
“Humanitarian actors are obligated to provide humanitarian assistance in a manner that preserves the dignity, respect of culture and respect of the local population” the new resolution reads.
As witnessed during the SPLM/SPLA’s Pagak leadership conference in April this year, the opposition forced humanitarian workers to vacate the area after their intelligence allegedly identified former staffs of South Sudan Security Service among the employees of NGOs deployed to provide humanitarian assistance in Pagak.
Within the last 18 months, many humanitarian NGOs working in South Sudan have faces multiples harassment, arrests, torture and kidnapping of their staffs.
More than ten South Sudanese NGOs’ employees have been kidnapped or killed in Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei state.