8th August 2020
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UN calls for ‘action’ after 2 aid workers killed in Jonglei

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Friday, July 17, 2020

File: Ethiopian peacekeepers deployed to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan escort a group of women outside a UN-run site and create a safe perimeter within which they can search for firewood without being at risk of attack: Nektarios Markogiannis/UNMISS.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has called for the arrest and prosecution of those behind the killing of aid workers and other civilians in Jonglei State.

Two international NGO staff and four community members were reportedly killed on the 13th of July in Pajut town center, Duk County.

UN OCHA states that the staff were providing healthcare and nutrition services to mostly women and children in the community when the area was attacked by an armed group.

It says upon hearing gunfire, the women and children fled in fear and the armed group opened fire on them, killing two aid workers and four members of the community.

The two deceased aid workers are said to be South Sudanese nationals.

Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan has strongly condemned the killing.

Dr. Mohamed Ag Ayoya called for swift action by authorities to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel in the country.

Dr. Ayoya further urged the government and all parties to step up efforts to protect humanitarians working in volatile areas like Jonglei.

A statement issued Thursday by UN OCHA noted that aid workers are taking significant risks to provide much-needed assistance to people who are living in a state where armed violence is on the rise and the threat of coronavirus.

It added that although there are fears of further attacks in the area, aid workers will continue to provide healthcare and nutrition services in Pajut town.

The incident is said to be the sixth and seventh aid worker death in South Sudan in 2020.

This brings the number of humanitarians killed since 2013 to 122, most of whom were South Sudanese nationals.

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