UN strongly condemns attacks on aid workers in Renk, calls for investigation
October 23, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan, Mohamed Ag Ayoya, has issued a statement condemning an incident in which non-resident humanitarian workers were attacked and their assets looted in Renk, Upper Nile State.
On 12 October, the Renk Youth Association demanded that humanitarian organizations re-assigned jobs from current staff from certain backgrounds to local people.
When the demands were not met, the youth then insisted that all humanitarian activities be suspended and aid workers leave Renk immediately without their assets.
Following an increase in threats against humanitarians and attacks against office, accommodation and warehouse locations, almost 30 aid workers have relocated to the closest UN Mission in South Sudan base for their safety.
“Humanitarian workers are in Upper Nile to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people, including women, children and older persons. Intimidating them and forcing humanitarian activities to suspend result in delays of this much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable people, and is unacceptable,” Mr. Ayoya said.
He acknowledged the constructive role played by the national authorities, who have advocated for the immediate institution of safety for humanitarian workers and resumption of their programmes.