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US embassy denounces killing of aid workers

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Thursday, November 5, 2020

A WFP worker at work | File photo

The U.S. Embassy has joined the UN and diplomatic community in condemning the killings of aid workers in South Sudan.

There have been an increase in the attack on humanitarian workers.

On 29 October, an unidentified armed men reportedly attacked a team of Plan International’s humanitarian workers near Pibor town last Thursday, killing an aid worker.

One of his colleague suffered “serious” gun wounds.

The team was said to be returning to Pibor on foot after delivering critical nutrition services to children and new mothers affected by violence and flooding in the area.

And a week later (October 5), an attack on a WFP humanitarian aid convoy left one person dead and three others injured.

The boat-convoy was carrying food assistance from Bor to Melut and Malakal. It was attacked around Shambe North.

As a result, lifesaving assistance has been delayed or interrupted, resulting in the loss of lives of vulnerable South Sudanese citizens.

“In order to continue delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, the U.S. Embassy in Juba and the broader humanitarian community in South Sudan calls upon authorities and communities at all levels to guarantee the safety and security of aid workers, humanitarian assets, and all the people who access humanitarian services,” partly reads a statement issued on Thursday.

The attacks came after youth in the areas expressed concerns over job opportunities, which they claimed NGOs offer non-locals.

In Renk, disgruntled youth set ablaze a Medair store, after they demanded employment from the humanitarian group.

The overall increase in violence has resulted in the deaths of nine aid workers in South Sudan to date in 2020.

Since the 2013 outbreak of conflict, 124 aid workers ­– most of whom were South Sudanese — have lost their lives in the line of duty.

The United States is the largest single donor of aid assistance to South Sudanese, reportedly providing nearly $692 million in humanitarian aid in FY 2020 through UN and NGO partners.

“The U.S. Embassy, along with the international community, reiterates its commitment to supporting the people of South Sudan,” the statement continued.

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