Intl Heads of Mission express concern over heightened insecurity in Renk

October 23, 2020 (Thessherald)––The international community is deeply concerned over the ongoing attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers in Renk County, Upper Nile State.

In a joint press statement, “the Heads of Mission of the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada and the European Union Delegation express deep concern regarding escalating tensions with the Renk Youth Association that has resulted in the suspension of life-saving assistance in Renk county.”

The international community called on the concerned authorities to de-escalate the tensions and allow humanitarian aid to reach the needy.

“The international community strongly condemns the actions that led to the burning down of a Medair warehouse in Renk, as reported on Thursday 22 October, which cannot be tolerated. This follows days of increased threats and intimidation against staff members.”

“The current circumstances are not conducive to the delivery of aid, which has already impacted the ability of thousands of the most vulnerable to access key services. Furthermore, this risks the large-scale economic opportunities that aid supports in Renk.”

The donor countries echoed and upheld the suspension of humanitarian services in the wake of the escalating violence against frontline workers in the area.

“As donors, we stand by the Statement of Principles and Actions (Humanitarian Donors Nov 2019) which underlines the importance of enabling humanitarians to operate safely and securely. We urge the R-TGONU to engage local community leaders and groups to work together and to continue dialogue, uphold law and order and achieve a swift and peaceful resolution.”

“As donors, we require the elimination of obstructions on humanitarian assistance, such as threats, intimidation and destructions of property and commodities. As these attacks against civilians, aid workers, facilities and supplies are ongoing, we uphold the right of our partners to suspend services and withdraw from local operations. We call on the Government at all levels to provide the conditions for access and safe delivery of aid across South Sudan.”

Since the past two days, an angry group of youths has been on the rampage, attacking non-resident aid workers in protest against employment discrimination.

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