24th October 2021
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Aid workers airlifted amidst attack threats in Pibor

Authors: Woja Emmanuel | Alhadi Hawari | Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Children eat porridge their mother cooked with the food she received at a World Food Program (WFP) distribution site in Pibor, South Sudan | Credit | Marwa Awad

The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has evacuated over 70 humanitarian workers from Pibor following attack threats from the area youth.

It says the 78 aid workers, including three international staff, were airlifted to Juba on Tuesday.

On 4 October, a letter reportedly from a youth group in Pibor was issued, demanding at least 30 humanitarian personnel leave the area within 72 hours.

The youth group accused humanitarian personnel from other parts of the country of occupying positions that they say belong to the local community.

The local youth also demands for 80% employment in local and international organizations.

“The government of the administrative area is working to make sure that these youth do not take the law into their own hands,” Jay Adigora, information minister.

On Tuesday, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan, this latest threat will impact the provision of critical services to people, such as urgent food assistance, health and nutrition services and protection support, among others.

This latest incident of youth interference will reportedly impact response operations to more than 100,000 of the most vulnerable people in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.

Since the start of the year, humanitarians have been threatened and attacked by youth in Renk in Upper Nile and Torit in Eastern Equatoria, to name but a few.

These attacks led to the suspension of humanitarian activities and the relocation of workers.

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