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Gov’t urged to protect aid workers as Pibor youth threaten to attack

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Aid teams wade through flood water to transport food and feminine hygiene kits to distribution points for displaced communities in Pibor, South Sudan | Credit | De La Guardia/UNICEF

The Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan has urged the government to protect aid workers in the country.

The remarks comes a day after a youth group in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area reportedly gave non-locals 72 hours to leave jobs for them.

The youth group accused humanitarian personnel from other parts of the country of occupying positions that they say belong to the local community.

“I am deeply concerned with the latest threat by youth groups against humanitarians serving the South Sudanese community,” Matthew Hollingworth said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

“The consequences of these threats will impact the provision of critical services to people, such as urgent food assistance, health and nutrition services and protection support, among others.”

There have been similar cases in parts of the country of late.

In July 2021, Eastern Equatoria State government had declare a night curfew in the state capital, Torit, in an attempt to thwart attacks on aid workers who came from different part of the country.

Three years earlier, nearly 10 NGOs evacuated their staff from Maban – Upper Nile State – after a group of youth attacked their premises over employment concerns.

This latest incident, according to UNOCHA, will impact response operations to more than 100,000 of the most vulnerable people in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

“Without these frontline workers, all of whom are South Sudanese citizens, we cannot reach people with lifesaving aid and people’s humanitarian needs will deepen,” Hollingworth added.

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