19 August 2021: Save the Children condemns yesterday’s armed attack on a farming community in the Budi County of Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan, in which at least two people were killed and one gravely injured, and 10 oxen were stolen and later recovered by community efforts.
“We express our condolences and grief to the families of the killed and injured people, and their wider communities. This is a terrible tragedy that might have been avoided if security forces had provided the necessary protection for communities to engage in productive work: said Rama Hansraj, Country Director of Save the Children. While the country is grappling with a severe hunger crisis and peace is stabilizing, the Government should focus on improving overall protection and safety for its population”.
“It is disheartening that communities that are already suffering from various hardships continue to be brutally attacked and robbed of the little peace and livelihoods they have. “Attacks on communities are also attacks on humanitarian aid as they create fear and disruptions in the flow of assistance to children and families.
“Security is paramount in the progress of peace commitments and for communities to reduce the dependence on aid. Long-term durable and sustainable solutions in form of agricultural activities and communities engaging in work are the only hope for a better future. Such incidents like this seriously erode that hope” said Rama Hansraj.
The victims were community members who were engaged in a Save the Children-supported livelihood activity. Save the Children is implementing several programs in the region to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation, including crisis levels of hunger. Save the Children is concerned that this incident might further exacerbate the crisis due to fear that might hinder the participation of community members in livelihoods programs.
Save the Children is calling on the Government to conduct a proper enquiry into the incident, and any similar incidents across the country, and ensure justice be secured for those who lost lives and were injured in the attack. The Government must also help facilitate dialogue among conflicting communities so at to avoid any revenge attacks.
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