MOSCOW, December 29 (Sputnik) — A barge carrying food for thousands of refugees reached South Sudan, re-opening the Nile river corridor between the conflict-torn country and the neighbouring Sudan, the United Nations said on Monday.
“This is the first time in several years we have been able to use the Nile River to deliver food across the border between Sudan and South Sudan, and we are grateful to everyone who made it possible to re-open this vital supply line,” the World Food Progamme acting South Sudan Country Director Stephen Kearney was quoted as saying in a statement available on the UN website.
The two countries earlier reached an agreement to re-open the heavily militarized Nile corridor, which was closed after the South gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
According to the report, the reopening will facilitate UN agencies to more efficiently deliver humanitarian aid to the displaced civilians in South Sudan amid the country’s ongoing conflict.
The UN expects that the first shipment through the corridor will deliver almost 500 tons of food to 28,000 people in January with another 23,000 tons is planned to be sent in the coming days.
Fighting in South Sudan began in late 2013, when the country’s President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Riek Machar of plotting a coup. The hostility spilled over into a civil war which has internally displaced some 1.5 million people and led to one of the world’s worst food crises.