South Sudan: Humanitarian Access Snapshot (June 2017)
A total of 100 humanitarian access incidents were documented in June, the highest number recorded in one month so far in 2017. Although there was a reduction in the number of conflict and insecurity incidents impacting humanitarian access, there was a substantial rise in incidents involving violence against personnel and assets, from 29 cases in May to 46 in June. Government soldiers reportedly forcibly entered an NGO compound in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria, assaulted guards and commandeered the organization’s vehicle. A group of youth forcefully entered an NGO compound, barricaded the entry and physically assaulted staff members in Pariang County, in Unity. In Bor, threat letters were issued, in the name of the “Bor Community Youth Association,” requesting that all Equatorian aid workers in Bor town vacate the area or face repercussions. At least 24 humanitarian compounds were broken into countrywide in June, resulting in looting of supplies and robberies of personal belongings.
Violence against humanitarians increased on key road routes. In June, at least 20 incidents of robberies or ambushes of vehicles that were travelling to undertake humanitarian missions, and to pre-position and deliver vital humanitarian supplies took place. Such incidents were particularly prevalent in Lakes, Western Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria and Central Equatoria. In Yei, armed men reportedly ambushed an NGO vehicle at Limbe on Lainya-Yei road about 15 km from Yei town.
One staff member was shot and seriously injured during the attack.
Restrictions on movement imposed by authorities continued to hinder humanitarians’ ability to reach people in need. Access from Juba to the Liwolo camps in Central Equatoria, where an estimated 30,000 internally displaced persons are sheltering, remained constrained, with two inter-agency humanitarian convoys denied passage and one unable to proceed due to delays in receipt of the necessary assurances from government security organs. State authorities in Mundri temporarily stopped movement of humanitarians to several SPLA-iO controlled areas. Challenges were encountered accessing areas outside of Yei town due to lack of follow up on assurances from SPLA-iO authorities.
Operational interference and bureaucratic impediments also remained key challenges. Partners were forced to suspend a planned food distribution to more than 7,500 vulnerable people in Pibor and Vertet in Jonglei due to interference from government soldiers. In iO-held areas, humanitarian organizations reported that authorities attempted to institute exactions. Several organizations faced challenges transporting cash out of Juba for their humanitarian operations, with authorities requesting new and additional paperwork.
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