January 25, 2023 (JUBA) – The U.S. embassy in Juba has condemns “in the strongest terms” the recent targeted attacks on humanitarian workers and their compounds in South Sudan, including those that have led to the deaths of three South Sudanese humanitarian workers and injury to others.
The embassy, in a statement issued Thursday, urged South Sudan’s leaders to act with urgency to end subnational violence and hold accountable those responsible for attacks targeting civilians and humanitarian organizations, as well as for abductions and other human rights violations.
“We stand with all those who work for peace and stability in South Sudan,” partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune.
The acting United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Peter Van der Auweraert also condemned last week’s attack on humanitarian workers and assets in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).
On 18 January, several armed attackers reportedly broke into an international non-governmental organization compound in Pibor and beat up one humanitarian worker who eventually required medical attention.
The attackers, a statement from the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) said, targeted the NGO looking for cash and other assets and stole valuables.
“Such attacks while humanitarians are providing critical services to most vulnerable people are beyond comprehensible,” said Van der Auweraert.
“The whole humanitarian community is united in its call for the immediate end of these repeated acts of violence against civilians and humanitarians,” he added.
The incident, OCHA said, follows the killing of two aid workers in the Abyei Administrative Area another humanitarian in Jonglei State this month.
South Sudan is reportedly one the most dangerous places for aid workers, with nine humanitarian workers killed in the line of duty and 450 incidents reported in 2022, and already three humanitarian workers killed in 2023.
In 2022, nine humanitarian workers were killed in the line of duty in South Sudan and three aid workers lost their lives on duty at the start of this year.
An estimated 9.4 million of the most vulnerable people in South Sudan will need urgent life-saving assistance and protection in 2023, compared to 8.9 million in 2022, the UN said.