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UN wants killers of Dr. Edward held accountable

Author: Lasuba Memo | Published: Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The South Sudanese doctor—who was working for the International Rescue Committee was killed inside a health facility in Ganyliel Payam, Panyijiar County, Unity State, on 21 May/Courtesy photo.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has called on the government to hold accountable those who killed a humanitarian health worker in Unity State.

On Friday, gunmen reportedly attacked and brutally killed Dr. Louise Edward at the Primary Healthcare Center in Ganyiel, Panyinjiar County.

Late Edward was an employee of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

On Sunday, frontline doctors condemned the incident and called on the authorities to investigate, identify the perpetrators and hold them to account for the crime.

In an interview with Eye Radio, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) condemned the killing too.

Steve O’Malley, the head of UNOCHA in South Sudan describes the killing of Dr. Louise Edward as a criminal act, saying the government shoulders the responsibility of bringing the assailants to justice.

“A criminal wrong has been committed. Then it is the responsibility of the government to investigate, to identify the alleged perpetrators and then given them a fair trial,” Mr. O’Malley said.

“Then if they are found guilty, they are punished according to the law. That is the expectation all South Sudanese have and then it is all the expectations the humanitarian community have when something like this happens.”

O’Malley on the other hand encouraged aid agencies and humanitarian groups to engage in dialogue with the communities in order to listen to their concerns.

This, he said, will help minimize misunderstandings with those they serve especially when the locals feel the organizations are accountable to them.

“It’s an imperative thing you have to keep up a good level of dialogue so that you know what the community wants, you know what issues might be coming up, and this will always stop individuals from doing things.”

“In many places, we have found out that that helps to ensure that if problems occur, the community are the ones who protect humanitarian organizations and humanitarian workers,” the OCHA head added.

According to OCHA, At least two aid workers were killed in South Sudan in 2021 and another nine in 2021, what humanitarians describe as “targeted killings.”

A total of 126 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since the conflict broke out in late 2013.

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