South Sudan has expelled United Nations’ humanitarian official Toby Lanzer, who serves as deputy envoy and resident aid coordinator, over the charge of monitoring the delivery of aid to the conflict-torn country, said a UN spokesman on Monday.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the expulsion and called on South Sudan government to reverse the decision immediately..
“Mr Lanzer has been instrumental in addressing the increasing humanitarian needs of conflict-affected communities in the country and ensuring that life-saving humanitarian assistance reaches the most vulnerable,” said the official in a statement, adding that Ban urges the government to cooperate fully with the UN entities present in South Sudan.
No reason was given for the move but the spokesman said Lanzer was coming to the end of his term and Eugene Owusu of Ghana has already been appointed to replace him.
Lanzer, a British national, is pretty active in social media with nearly 12,000 followers. He often posts messages about the bad conditions blaming on the leaders, who failed to implement several peace accords, for increasing violence in the country.
The world's newest state, which declared independence from Sudan in 2011, was plunged into conflict nearly 18 months ago between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied with his former deputy, Riek Machar.
However, violence has continued in parts of the country. The UN estimated 10,000 people have been killed and another 1.5 million displaced since the conflict began. Two and a half million people have been facing with severe food shortage.
Thousands have fled their homes in recent days because of the violence and some 650,000 civilians don’t have access to aid in the Upper Nile State, where Melut and the neighbouring Unity State is located, according to the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan.