South Sudan’s NGOs condemn attack on aid workers

South Sudan’s NGO Forum has condemned the increasing attacks and threats on humanitarian workers following the recent incidents in Ruweng Administrative Area and Eastern Equatoria State.
“These unacceptable incidents, both citing grievances over local recruitment, follow one of the most dangerous years on record for aid workers in South Sudan in 2020 with a sharp rise in the number of aid workers killed since 2019. Multiple serious and direct attacks on aid workers have already been seen in 2021, with South Sudanese aid workers most affected,” it said in a statement issued in Juba on Friday.
Aid workers were on April 24th attacked inside an NGO compound in Jamjang County in Ruweng Administrative Area where multiple youth entered the perimeter and physically attacked staff, resulting in serious injuries.
Another incident occurred on April 28th in Torit in Eastern Equatoria State where some local youth violently assaulted a staff of the United Nations agency and local NGO during a meeting with state authorities.
The aid workers sustained serious injuries, leading to condemnation by the head of the United Nations office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Alaine Noudehou.
“We are deeply disturbed by these attacks. Thus far, the perpetrators have not been caught and there has been no accountability for those that have carried out this attack. We urge the local authorities to provide a guarantee of staff security so that we can continue to provide life-saving humanitarian services to host and refugee communities in South Sudan,” said Carol Sekyewa, Country Director of International Rescue Committee (IRC).
It also said that criminal attacks on humanitarian organizations in Renk last year, caused suspension of essential humanitarian services in the county for more than five months affecting vulnerable people most in need.
“Continued violence and a lack of action not only impacts on the humanitarians delivering services but can lead to the collective suspension of urgently needed assistance, putting the most vulnerable South Sudanese further at risk,” it said.
The NGO Forum said it routinely issues guidance to NGOs to follow regulations of the South Sudanese labor law, including the recruitment of at least 80% of their workforce from the South Sudanese population irrespective of where in the country they are originally from.
“Ultimatums by local groups to recruit based on ethnic or local geographic lines cannot be tolerated and are in breach of the South Sudan Labor Act and humanitarian principle of non-discrimination,” it said

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