UN decries killing of aid workers, urges authorities to apprehend perpetrators

Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan |Photo: File
Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan |Photo: File

November 4, 2020 (Thessherald)–The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has strongly condemned the increasing and targeted killing of aid workers in the country and urged concerned authorities to investigate the incident and hold those responsible to account.

This comes after an aid worker was killed by a group of armed youth, just a day after another humanitarian staff lost his life while in the line of duty.

Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, expressed deep concern and condemned increasing acts of violence against aid workers in the country.

“I am appalled by these repeated acts of violence against humanitarians. South Sudanese aid workers are enduring difficult conditions to deliver lifesaving assistance to their fellow citizens and should be protected,” he said.

“These two humanitarian workers killed in the past week were South Sudanese and were delivering critical nutrition services to vulnerable people affected by local conflicts and flooding,” said Noudéhou in a statement.

He appealed to relevant authorities to identify the killers and hold them accountable for their actions.

“The violence and the impunity must stop. We need safety and security of the people receiving and delivering aid.”

Last month, a community-based staff working for Nile Hope, a South Sudanese non-governmental organization, in Canal/Pigi County in Jonglei State was fatally shot by armed youth.

“He was on his way from the organization’s base to a facility providing supplementary feeding and outpatient therapeutic care to malnourished children and new mothers. His colleague escaped with minor injuries. All humanitarian services have been temporarily suspended in the area following the shooting.”

The incident brings the number of humanitarian workers killed this year in South Sudan to nine – this is three times the total number of humanitarians who lost their lives in the country in 2019. A total of 124 aid workers, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives in the line of duty since the conflict broke out in late 2013.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Alain condemns attack on WFP convoy

Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan condemns the attack on a WFP boat-convoy in Lakes and calls for an immediate end to repeated acts of violence

Mr. Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan
Mr. Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan |Photo: File

Press Release

Oct 7, 2020 (Thessherald)–Mr. Alain Noudéhou, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, has strongly condemned an unprovoked attack on a WFP boat-convoy on the River Nile in Lakes State, and called for an end to repeated acts of violence which are disrupting life-saving assistance to flood-affected people.

On 5 October, a WFP boat-convoy carrying food for vulnerable people was ambushed by armed actors close to Shambe town in Lakes. The convoy was transporting food from Bor to people affected by floods in Melut and Malakal, Upper Nile.

The impact of the gunfire resulted in one cargo vessel being sunk with its cargo of much needed humanitarian supplies.

During this attack, three of the cargo vessel staff suffered gunshot injuries and one person is missing and presumed killed.

“The violence against humanitarian workers must stop. I strongly condemn this attack on a humanitarian convoy that was transporting food to flood-affected people.

Perpetrators must be brought to justice. I call upon the Government and all parties to protect humanitarians and people supporting the efforts to provide assistance to the millions of people who are in need,” said Mr. Noudéhou.

Some 800,000 people have been affected by flooding in South Sudan since July. A total of 37 of counties out of 78 are affected with many areas still underwater and people are unable to tend to their lands and livestock. An estimated 368,000 have been displaced. Women and children are the most affected.

“I stand by WFP and all humanitarians working on the frontline to provide life-saving assistance. Humanitarians workers continue to work in difficult conditions to reach communities affected by the floods, but we need unimpeded access and be able to work in a safe environment.” Noudéhou concluded.