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JONGLEI - 25 May 2023

Armed group loots WFP food supplies in Bor

A large armed group on motorbikes looted five Lorries loaded with food supplies outside of the UN compound in Bor town of Jonglei State on Tuesday, a UN agency said.

In a statement seen by Radio Tamazuj Wednesday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the Lorries were loaded with 100 metric tonnes of WFP food assistance, enough to feed more than 11,000 people for one month.

“The food was to support those in most need living in Twic East. Almost 7 metric tonnes of the food was looted in the attack. Following the incident, WFP has paused movements out of Bor for the third time this year,” it said.

Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP Representative to South Sudan, said the organization has been grappling with a significant number of attacks on its convoys this year.

 “To have lorries attacked on the perimeter of the UN compound is beyond unacceptable and we have no choice but to pause operations out of Bor until the safety and security of our staff and assets can be assured. This will have an impact upon more than a million people in Jonglei and Pibor, many of whom are women and children, who rely on the assistance WFP provides,” McGoarty added.

Also, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim (ai) in South Sudan, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert, strongly condemned what he termed a targeted attack and looting of humanitarian assets outside the UN Compound in Bor.

“Humanitarians save lives and must be able to safely deliver life-saving supplies to those in need,” said Peter Van der Auweraert.

Meanwhile, the members of the Troika (the UK, US and Norway) issued a joint statement and condemned the May 23 attack by armed individuals at a World Food Programme (WFP) warehouse in Bor.

“We stand with the WFP and all courageous aid workers and organizations who seek to help South Sudanese people in need.  We reiterate our calls on the transitional government to establish conditions conducive to the safe and effective provision of humanitarian assistance,” the statement said.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been reports of violent acts against humanitarian personnel and assets. Humanitarian access continues to be adversely affected by sub-national and inter-communal violence, operational interference, and physical constraints, affecting the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance.

According to the United Nations, an estimated 9.4 million people, 76 per cent of South Sudan's population, are projected to need humanitarian and/or protection assistance in 2023.