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Diplomatic missions condemn violence against aid workers

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Humanitarian aid workers inspecting food supply donated by USAID in South Sudan | File photo

More than 10 heads of mission of international countries have condemned the killing of the aid workers.

They include the European Union Delegation, the Heads of Mission of Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Sweden.

Others are Norway, the United States, Switzerland, Canada, and Ireland.

The heads of mission of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Sweden,  and the EU express deep concern regarding the recurring reports of violence against humanitarian aid workers.

In a statement, the Heads of Mission said they are deeply saddened by the developments in Pibor and Pigi County.

Late last month, at least two aid workers were killed and one was badly injured.

“We are deeply saddened by the developments in Pibor and Canal/Pigi County where, again, humanitarian aid workers were attacked,” partly reads the statement.

“On October 29 and October 30, employees of the humanitarian organizations Plan International and Nile Hope were attacked while delivering vital nutrition services to citizens of South Sudan. One person was gravely injured and two were killed.”

“We strongly condemn these attacks, which continue to make South Sudan one of the most dangerous places in the world for humanitarians.”

At present, 7.5 million South Sudanese people need humanitarian assistance.

The diplomatic missions stated that the humanitarian workers play a key role in delivering lifesaving aid to people affected by acute food insecurity, flooding and
local conflicts.

The statement says the humanitarian aid workers works in challenging circumstances to provide critical support to the most vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities in the country.

The heads of mission said if humanitarian organizations cannot guarantee the safety of their staff, lifesaving programs need to be suspended.

They said attacks against humanitarian workers are a violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as well as of international humanitarian law. Such attacks also contravene the UN Security Council Resolution 2417 (2018) on Conflict and Hunger.

“We are committed to work together with the Government of South Sudan at all levels to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers,” said the statement.

They called for an end to the violence against humanitarian actors must stop and perpetrators must be held accountable for their crimes.

The heads of mission said the aid workers should never be a target.

“Humanitarian aid workers need to be able to deliver services without interference and fear of
violence. They should never be a target,” the statement concluded.

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