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A MSF Staff speaks to a refugee at Al Kashala Hospital. File photo

UN urges authorities to hunt down criminals who attack humanitarians in Ikotos

The United Nation Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan on Thursday called on the transitional unity government to hunt down criminals who recently attacked a humanitarian vehicle in Ikotos area of Eastern Equatoria State.

Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, condemned the Tuesday attack that left two people killed along the Tseretenya-Ikotos road.

“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,” Beysolow said in a statement issued in Juba.

“During the attack, a South Sudanese humanitarian worker and a local community member were killed, and others injured. 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,” she disclosed.

Beysolow said that this is the fifth humanitarian worker killed in South Sudan since the beginning of this year.

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

“I repeat my call to all armed actors to respect international humanitarian law and immediately cease targeting civilians, women, humanitarian personnel and their assets. Humanitarians must have safe and unfettered access to serve people in need and must not be a target,” Beysolow said.

South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places for aid workers since 2013, with 319 violent incidents reported in 2021 targeting humanitarian personnel and assets. In 2021 alone, five aid workers were killed when carrying out their duties; and five aid workers were killed since the beginning of 2022.

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