JUBA, MARCH 20, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – The Humanitarian Community in South Sudan on Monday called on the government to end targeted violence against aid workers in the country.
The call came following the latest attack on the World Food Programme (WFP) convoy delivering aid to Uror County of Jonglei State, leaving two people dead and others injured.
The WFP convoy was attacked by a group of armed youths along the Gadiang-Yuai road on 17 March.
Mr. Meshack Malo, Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan Following said the WFP has temporarily paused its convoy movements out of Bor, Jonglei State.
“The humanitarian community is appalled by the continued attacks targeting humanitarians and their assets. These recurring acts of violence disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and must end,” said Malo said in a statement extended to Sudans Post on Monday.
Malo called on the authorities to take urgent action to improve security, to protect civilians, humanitarian personnel, and commodities, and bring perpetrators to justice.
“While humanitarians continue to work tirelessly to provide the much-needed vital support, the continuation of violent attacks inadvertently hampers their efforts. We call on the authorities to take urgent action to improve security, to protect civilians, humanitarian personnel and commodities, and bring perpetrators to justice.”
Ms. Mary-Ellen McGroarty, Country Director for WFP in South Sudan stressed the need to protect aid workers to allow them to work freely to assist millions suffering as a result of the ongoing conflict.
“This corridor is critical for our food prepositioning ahead of the rainy season when roads are inaccessible and more than one million people in Jonglei and Pibor rely on the humanitarian food assistance that we transport along this route,” said Ms. Mary-Ellen.
“The safety and security of staff and contractors are paramount and when incidents like this occur it is women, men, and children in desperate need of assistance who suffer the most,” she added.
South Sudan is one the most dangerous places for aid workers, with nine humanitarian workers killed in the line of duty and 418 incidents reported in 2022.
Before this incident, since the beginning of the year, three aid workers were killed while on duty providing critical services to the most vulnerable affected by the protracted humanitarian situation.