South Sudan

Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, expresses outrage over latest attack on humanitarian personnel

Attachments

(Juba, 11 August 2022) I condemn in strongest terms the ongoing violence and attacks on civilians and humanitarian personnel that continues in South Sudan. 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. 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.

This is the fifth humanitarian worker killed in South Sudan since the beginning of this year – an unacceptable loss. I am deeply appalled by the continued violence targeting civilians, humanitarians, and their assets. This attack comes at a time when humanitarian access is increasingly challenging, humanitarian space is shrinking and funds for humanitarian action are dwindling.

People’s lives and livelihoods have been shattered by fighting, gender-based violence and climate shocks. Consequently, people’s needs including for vital life-saving services have significantly increased. 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.

I repeat my call to all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law and immediately cease targeting civilians, women, humanitarian personnel and their assets. Humanitarians must have safe and unfettered access to serve people in need and must not be a target. Humanitarian assistance can only reach the most vulnerable people if there is a conducive environment for humanitarian actors. 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.

South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places for aid workers since 2013, with 319 violent incidents reported in 2021 targeting humanitarian personnel and assets. In 2021 alone, five aid workers were killed when carrying out their duties; and five aid workers were killed since the beginning of 2022.

Note to editors

To learn more about humanitarian access in South Sudan, see the access snapshots of 2021 here: First: bit.ly/3dZQtGw; Second: bit.ly/3hBasNB; Third: bit.ly/2ZWh1nK; 2021 Humanitarian Access Overview: bit.ly/3OCNJiG

For further information, please contact:
Wilfred Vundru, Reporting Officer, vundru@un.org|
Krasimira Antimova, Public Information Officer, antimova@un.org|
OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org/south-sudan or www.reliefweb.int.

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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