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South Sudan expels UN relief coordinator

South Sudan has decided to expel the United Nations’ resident relief coordinator and deputy envoy to the country, Toby Lanzer, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, condemned the move and called on Juba to reverse the decision immediately, the official said.

“Mr Lanzer has been instrumental in addressing the increasing humanitarian needs of conflict-affected communities in the country and ensuring that lifesaving humanitarian assistance reaches the most vulnerable,” the spokesman said in a statement.

No reason was given for the expulsion but the spokesman noted that Lanzer was coming to the end of his term and that Eugene Owusu, a Ghanaian former adviser to the UN Development Programme, had already been appointed to replace him.

Lanzer, a British national who was appointed in 2012, is due to take up a new post as UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel.

South Sudan is among the UN’s worst humanitarian crises, with more than 2.5 million people facing a severe food crisis.

The world’s newest state was plunged into conflict nearly 18 months ago between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied to his former deputy, Riek Machar.

More than 120,000 people have sought shelter in UN bases in South Sudan since the fighting broke out in December 2013.

Source: The Guardian

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