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Juba - 12 Aug 2022

UN humanitarian coordinator expresses outrage over latest attack on aid workers

A South Sudanese soldier holds his rifle. Civilians own most of the small arms in South Sudan. (Reuters/File)
A South Sudanese soldier holds his rifle. Civilians own most of the small arms in South Sudan. (Reuters/File)

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan Sara Beysolow Nyanti, in a statement Thursday, condemned ongoing attacks on civilian and humanitarian personnel. 

On Tuesday, two humanitarian workers in Ikotos County of Eastern Equatoria State were killed in an ambush.

"I condemn in strongest terms the ongoing violence and attacks on civilians and humanitarian personnel that continues in South Sudan. On 9 August, in Ikotos County in Eastern Equatoria State, a clearly marked humanitarian vehicle carrying humanitarian workers was attacked. During the attack, a South Sudanese humanitarian worker and a local community member were killed, and others injured," the statemnet reads. 

"This tragic and senseless loss of lives is completely unacceptable. I convey my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the colleagues impacted by this violence, especially for those who lost their lives when helping others," it added. 

According to the UN official, this is the fifth humanitarian worker killed in South Sudan since the beginning of this year. 

Sara said the attack comes at a time when humanitarian access is increasingly challenging, humanitarian space is shrinking and funds for humanitarian action are dwindling. 

She said: "We humanitarians cannot deliver life-saving support to the most vulnerable including women, children, elderly and the disabled, while we are under attack. Nobody should have to make the ultimate sacrifice while trying to save the lives of others."

The UN humanitraian coordinator called upon all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law and immediately cease targeting civilians, women, humanitarian personnel and their assets. 

"I am also calling on the government to address the devastating attacks on humanitarians and civilians by ensuring that the perpetrators are identified and brought to justice," she concluded.