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Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Communication speaks during RJMEC Plenary meeting held in Juba on Thursday [Photo: Awan Achiek]

Government vows to punish killers of aid workers

The government on Thursday promised justice for members of the humanitarian community killed by gunmen in several parts of the country.

This came in the aftermath of the recent killing of a truck driver last week in Pibor who was transporting food on behalf of the World Food Programme (WFP) to Bor.

The incident occurred barely a few days after another two humanitarian staff from WFP were killed on March 17, 2023 in Jonglei State.

Several humanitarian workers have also been killed throughout the year without any single perpetrator being apprehended.

Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Communication said the government “deeply regrets” the recent attack on aid workers and the looting of WFP humanitarian supplies in Bor.

“On the looting of World Food Programme humanitarian assistance supplied, the R-TGoNU regrets the incident. The R-TGoNU maintains that it is not its policy to engage or encourage individuals to carry out such attacks,” Makuei said during the plenary meeting of the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission held in Juba.

He said the government does not encourage violence against humanitarian workers.

“However, under current living conditions such acts are likely to occur. The R-TGoNU undertakes to bring the culprits to book,” Makuei said.

Following the attack, the WFP temporarily halted the movement of their truck convoys out of Bor.

Guang Cong, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General said the WFP has resumed its operations in Jonglei following the recent suspension of emergency response due to attacks on its staff. 

“A number of commercial contracted convoys to move food assistance were attacked moving along the roads in Greater Jonglei area. Two of the commercial convoy staff were killed during these incidents, which led WFP to pause movements. Following strong statements condemning the attacks by the State Governor and the National Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, the convoy movement has recommenced,” Guang said.

However, Guang noted that heavy rains are now impacting the road condition making physical access a challenge.

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