The United Nations has strongly condemned the killing of three aid workers in Rumameer village of Abyei Administrative Area and in Duk County, Jonglei State.
The Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan, Peter van der Auweraert in a statement issued on Wednesday called on authorities and communities to protect humanitarian personnel as they deliver assistance to vulnerable people.
“I am shocked by the report on the killing of two aid workers in the Abyei Administrative Area and another aid worker killed in Jonglei. I want to express our condolences to the family and colleagues of the aid workers who were killed,” he said.
On 2nd January, armed men attacked Rumameer village in the Abyei Administrative Area killing two aid workers and several civilians. The aid workers were shot and killed while on duty at a humanitarian facility in Rumameer village.
Auweraert said humanitarians are working tirelessly to serve the most vulnerable people, including women, children and the elderly with vital humanitarian assistance.
It also disclosed that one aid worker was killed on January 7th by unknown individuals while he guarded humanitarian commodities in Duk County of Jonglei State.
Humanitarian commodities were looted during the incident in Duk County.
Auweraert said attacks on aid workers are hampering efforts by humanitarian partners to respond to people’s needs in Abyei Administrative Area and Duk County in Jonglei State.
“In the opening days of this year, three South Sudanese aid workers who contributed to help others have paid the highest price with their lives. I would remind all parties to the conflict that they have obligations under International Humanitarian Law to protect and respect civilians, the wounded and sick and those captured,” he said.
Auweraert called on authorities to restore order and protect civilians, including humanitarian personnel and assets.
“As the humanitarian community, we call on authorities to bring the perpetrators swiftly to justice,” it said.
South Sudan continues to be one of the most dangerous places for aid workers. Nine humanitarian workers have been killed in the line of duty in 2022, compared to five in 2021.
Since the conflict began in 2013, 141 humanitarians, predominantly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing humanitarian assistance to people.