South Sudan

South Sudan: Quarterly Humanitarian Access Snapshot (April to June 2021)

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According to reports received, humanitarian access to people in need worsened between April and June 2021, creating a challenging operating environment. A total of 188 reported access incidents took place in the second quarter, a 15 per cent increase from 163 reported during the same period last year. The increase is attributed to a surge in attacks against humanitarian staff and assets and continued active hostilities and sub-national violence, particularly in Eastern and Central Equatoria and Jonglei. Over half of all reported incidents in the reporting period took place in these three states.

Violence against humanitarian personnel and assets more than doubled, from 52 to 111 reported incidents, compared to the first quarter of 2021. Four aid workers were killed between April and June, bringing the total to 128 since conflict broke out in 2013. Ninety-five aid workers were relocated from Fangak, Magwi, Panyijiar, Pariang, Renk, Torit, and Uror counties due to insecurity, impacting humanitarian assistance to people. This represents a 44 per cent increase from the 66 aid workers relocated in the same period of 2020.

Persistent roadside ambushes had serious consequences on civilians and aid workers. A total of 37 roadside ambushes were reported between April and June as compared to 24 in the first quarter with staff being robbed and supplies looted. The Torit-Lopa/Lafon road, Torit-Kapoeta and Budi roads, and Bor-Gadiang road were hotspot areas for roadside ambushes. The consequences of these incidents severely impacted pre-positioning of humanitarian supplies. More than one million dollars’ worth of supplies and assets were looted and destroyed during armed attacks in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area in May, impacting the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Active hostilities led to the suspension of movement on the Juba-Nimule, Juba-Yei, Juba-Mundri-Maridi and Yei-Kaya-Morobo roads. Clashes were reported between; armed groups and security agencies; and between cattle keepers and host communities in Lainya, Kajo-keji and Yei counties of Central Equatoria. Humanitarians continued to experience frequent operational interference and bureaucratic impediments, restricting the movement of humanitarians. Tensions related to perceived bias in the recruitment of national staff led to attacks by youth groups against humanitarian workers and assets in Torit, Renk and Pariang.

With the onset of the rains, the road between Pibor and Gumuruk became impassible and humanitarian organizations had to reply on air transport to deliver aid. An increase in riverine checkpoints and extortion were reported, hindering deliveries by river. Verteth was cut off by poor infrastructure and flooding in Ayod made it difficult to reach people in need.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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