Humanitarian coordinator alarmed by attacks on aid workers

By William Madouk Garang

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan has expressed her indignation over the latest attack on aid workers and civilians in Ikotos County of Eastern Equatoria State that left two people dead.

On Tuesday, two humanitarian workers in Ikotos County of Eastern Equatoria State were killed in an ambush alongside a local community member while others were left nursing wounds.

In a press statement seen by No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Sara Beysolow Nyanti condemned the persisting attacks on civilians and humanitarian personnel, adding that such tragic and senseless loss of lives is unacceptable.

“On 9 August, in Ikotos County in Eastern Equatoria State, a clearly marked humanitarian vehicle carrying humanitarian workers was attacked. During the attack, a South Sudanese humanitarian worker and a local community member were killed, and others injured,” part of the statement read.

“This tragic and senseless loss of lives is completely unacceptable. I convey my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the colleagues impacted by this violence, especially for those who lost their lives when helping others,” it added.

According to the UN official, this is the fifth humanitarian worker killed in South Sudan since the beginning of this year.

Ms Nyanti said the attack comes at a time when humanitarian access is increasingly challenging, humanitarian space is shrinking and funds for humanitarian action are dwindling.  

“We humanitarians cannot deliver life-saving support to the most vulnerable including women, children, elderly and the disabled, while we are under attack. Nobody should have to make the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save the lives of others,” she said.

The UN humanitarian coordinator called upon all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law and immediately cease targeting civilians, women, humanitarian personnel and their assets.

“I am also calling on the government to address the devastating attacks on humanitarians and civilians by ensuring that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice,” she concluded.

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