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UN Condemns Attacks on S. Sudan Aid Workers

FILE: Displaced people in Bor, South Sudan, collect food aid last month. Taken 02.21.2022
FILE: Displaced people in Bor, South Sudan, collect food aid last month. Taken 02.21.2022

The deputy head of UNOCHA in South Sudan Annette Hearns says the attackers injured one aid worker and stole valuables on January 18.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has condemned an attack on humanitarian workers at an international non-profit organization’s compound in South Sudan’s Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

“We are united in our call for an immediate end of these repeated acts of violence against civilians and humanitarians," Hearns said.

“At least one humanitarian worker was beaten and required medical attention. The attackers targeted the NGO looking for cash and other assets and stole valuables,” Hearns told South Sudan in Focus in a recorded audio.

UNOCHA has called on the government of South Sudan to stop attacks on humanitarians, civilians and bring the perpetrators to justice.

Earlier this month, unidentified attackers killed two aid workers in the Abyei Administrative Area and another aid worker in Jonglei state.

Peter Van der Auweraert, Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan said in a statement released Monday that attacks on humanitarians are “beyond comprehension” adding, “The ongoing violent attacks against humanitarians hamper the delivery of much needed life-saving support to millions of people affected in times of escalating conflict.”

Van der Auweraert said the victims of these recent attacks are South Sudan nationals, adding that the indirect victims are the country’s most vulnerable citizens.

The UN said South Sudan is one the most dangerous places in the world for aid workers. Nine humanitarian workers were killed in the line of duty and 450 incidents were reported in 2022. Three humanitarian workers have been killed in 2023.