Head of Missions in South Sudan issue safety concerns

Oct 20, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — The European Union and the Heads of missions have issued a joint local statement on the icreased threat facing humanitarian aid workers.

UK Ambassador to South Sudan, Chris Trott, wades in flood waters during his visit to Pibor on Wednesday, November 6, 2019(Photo credit: Nyamilepedia/supplied)

“The European Union Delegation, all Heads of Mission of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland express deep concern regarding recurrent reports of high numbers of incidents in South Sudan where national and international humanitarian aid workers are hindered, threatened, injured, and in some cases killed.” Read part of the statement.

According to the statement, this year alone has seen 14 humanitarian workers lose their lives making South Sudan one of the most dangerous places to work as a humanitarian. 

The statement goes on to condemn the October 5 attack on WFP humanitarian aid convoy carrying much-needed food assistance for South Sudanese people affected by severe food insecurity and flooding.

“These incidents are not only a violation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement but also contravene the UN Security Council Resolution 2417(2018) on Conflict and Hunger and must be acted upon. Attacks on civilians, aid workers, facilities and supplies are in breach of International Humanitarian Law,” the statement read.

The heads of Mission has urged the R-TGoNU and all parties now more than ever to:

• provide a safe environment for humanitarian workers in South Sudan and tackle the violence and access impediments recurring in the country;
• investigate all reported incidents and hold the perpetrators accountable;
• uphold their commitment to deliver on the R-ARCSS and specifically Chapters II and III, through actions that allow principled humanitarian response grounded in humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence;
• remove formal and informal bureaucratic obstructions, including the numerous fees and taxes on the humanitarian response that delay and prohibit life-saving assistance and reduce the funds available for assisting those in need.

The heads of Mssion have the highest respect for all humanitarian workers who put themselves at risk to assist millions of people with food, water, health care, shelter, and protection. 

They also re-emphasized the Statement of Principles and Actions (Humanitarian Donors Nov 2019) and our collaboration and their support to stand with and serve the people of South Sudan.

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