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U.S urges South Sudan to ensure safe humanitarian corridors

By Aweye Teddy Onam

U.S. Embassy in South Sudan calls on the transitional unity government to ensure a safe environment for provision of humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable population in the country.

In a statement, the U.S. government joined UNICEF, in condemning the September 23 attack on trucks returning, after delivering humanitarian aid.

“We call on the transitional government to meet its responsibility to establish conditions that ensure the safe provision of humanitarian assistance,” the U.S. urged.

The attacked-on Saturday morning happened after the trucks had delivered aid supplies to children and families in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State.

Unidentified armed attackers perpetuated the tragic incident, resulting into death of two drivers, and one injured, while humanitarian resources were also destroyed.

“We offer our condolences to the families of the victims,” the U.S. Embassy statement partly reads.

Due to the attack, UNICEF has paused movement of supplies to the area and is urging the government to step up security on the roads and bring those responsible to justice.

UNICEF Chief of Communications, James Maiden stressed that the safety and security of staff and contractors are of the utmost importance.

“Attacks such as this, make children and women in desperate need of assistance suffer the most,” he said.

The UNICEF chief of communication sympathizes with the bereaved families.

“Our deepest condolences and sympathies are with the families of the drivers who are so frequently in the firing line of these needless attacks,” Maiden mourned.

Humanitarian workers across South Sudan, face violence, threats, and looting, among other challenges, while trying to reach people in need.

The latest UN report placed South Sudan at the top of the list of the most dangerous countries for aid workers in the world.

However, Gen. Lul Ruai Koang, spokesperson of the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF), blamed the National Salvation Front (NAS) forces under the directives of Cde Luga Lo’ Woja for allegedly carrying out the Saturday attacks.

“We have forces deployed everywhere, but you know those people look for areas where the SSPDF has moved away to other locations, and they conduct their operations,” the Army spokesman told this outlet.

But in a statement making rounds on social media, NAS distanced its forces from the brutal attack and senseless killing, rubbishing Gen. Lul’s accusations.

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