South Sudan

"Don't Pay at Checkpoints" – Government tells Humanitarian agencies in S. Sudan

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Government has warned that stern measures will be taken against anyone found obstructing the movement of humanitarian convoys.

The warning comes amid reports, that the movement of humanitarian relief aid to some parts of the country is being hampered by extortionists at roadblocks.

The Government spokesperson, Michael Makuei explained that while the roadblocks are part of the security measures, they should not be used as extortion points to hinder the movement of humanitarian convoys.

“These roadblocks are not a hamper because we are in a security situation, if we are in a security situation we will not just allow any convoy to move. Our security first we are not hampering them.” said the Government spokesperson.

Micheal Makuei urged humanitarian aid agencies to report anyone that extorts money from the humanitarian convoys.

“Why do you pay? You are then corrupting the people. Refuse, don’t pay, stop there and then report back. We will get those who want money or those who are obstructing them on the road, but when you pay then you are a party to this.”

On his trip to Juba last week, the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, reaffirmed that attacks against civilians, peacekeepers and UN premises – such as in Malakal – violate international humanitarian law and must stop, the UN chief noted that the protection camps are not a long-term solution.

He noted that as important as it is, humanitarian action can never be a substitute for political solutions. “The Government of South Sudan must step up to its responsibility and protect its population.” Mr Ban said.

He urged all parties to remove restrictions on the freedom of movement of the UN and humanitarian actors and ensure access to people in need of protection, and life-saving aid.