19th June 2021
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Western diplomats call for protection of aid workers

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

A WFP barge transporting food supplies on the Nile River | Credit | Courtesy

Some donor countries have called on the government of South Sudan to protect aid workers amidst increasing reports of targeted attacks.

This is in response to the October 5 attack on a WFP humanitarian aid convoy where one person was killed and three others suffered gun-shot wounds.

The boat-convoy was carrying food assistance from Bor to Melut and Malakal and was attacked around Shambe North.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, all heads of mission of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland expressed deep concerns over the high number of incidents on aid workers.

They say both local and international humanitarian workers are hindered, threatened, injured, and in some cases killed.

According to the donors, in 2020 alone, up to 14 humanitarian workers have reportedly lost their lives, making South Sudan one of the most dangerous places to work as a humanitarian.

“These incidents are not only a violation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement but also contravene the UN Security Council Resolution 2417(2018) on Conflict and Hunger and must be acted upon,” they said in the statement.

The European and American Heads of Mission urge the Revitalized transitional government of national unity to provide a safe environment for humanitarian workers in the country.

They also call for investigations and punishment of all perpetrators

Additionally, the diplomats also want a stop to bureaucratic obstructions, including the numerous fees and taxes.

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