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S. Sudan ranked most dangerous for aid workers

Norwegian Refugee Council country director Rehana Zawar | photo | Joakino Francis

The Norwegian Refugee Council has described as sad the ranking of South Sudan among the most dangerous countries for aid workers.

In Humanitarian Outcomes report issued on Monday, South Sudan tops the list of the most violent country for aid workers.

It shows that almost one in three of the 158 major violent incidents against aid operations that took place last year occurred in South Sudan.

“It’s really sad to see that South Sudan has globally topped the list in terms of not safe or dangerous for humanitarian workers,” said Rehana Zawar, the Norwegian Refugee Council country director.

Record numbers of humanitarians were killed by gunfire in South Sudan last year, with 24 losing lives to gunshot wounds.

The report indicates that 2017 also witnessed an increase in detention of aid workers by parties to the conflict. Other violent attacks included physical assaults and armed robberies.

Ms Zawar believes that the Khartoum peace deal, if implemented, will help get the country off the list of dangerous places for aid workers:

“The recent peace deal, I think is a good way to be optimistic that things will improve because it mentions that the humanitarians will be granted full access to aid delivery.”

It’s the third consecutive year that South Sudan tops the global list.

A total of 100 aid workers have lost their lives since the conflict broke out in December 2013, with South Sudanese staff at the highest risk.

Syria, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic were listed the next most dangerous, followed by Nigeria and Somalia.