Juba, South Sudan, 26 May 2021 – The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has suspended its operations in Ganyiel Payam in Panyijar County of Unity State as attacks against aid workers continue.
IRC Country Director for South Sudan, Caroline Sekywa said in a statement seen by Nyamilepedia that the suspension of their activities was in line with the company’s global safety and security guidelines that require them to undertake a thorough assessment when a tragic incident occurs.
The suspension comes days after Dr. Louis Edward, a medical doctor who was working in Ganyiel Payam, was murdered in cold blood inside the hospital facility.
Caroline also said the decision to put services on hold in the area was made as an honor for the deceased and also for the sake of the psychological well-being of his colleagues who are mourning and traumatized by the incident both in Unity State and South Sudan in general.
“We cannot continue business as usual without first understanding the situation and re-orienting our ways of working in the changed context for IRC to draw some lessons and ensure that this never happens again,” Sekywa said.
The director further said IRC is an organization providing humanitarian services to communities that deserve a secure and safe environment. He said if the government fails to implement safety measures they [IRC] have to take safety measures, including stopping operations or abandoning the insecure zones in order to ensure their safety.
“We request the State and national authorities to expedite their investigation as the outcome will inform our next step, we will cooperate with the authorities as they carry out their investigations. Sekywa emphasized.
Dr. Louis Edward Saleh was an IRC humanitarian worker as medical staff in Ganyiel Payam of Panyijiar County in Unity State. His killing sparked outrage and condemnations from the medical fraternity.
Three days ago, the South Sudan Doctors’ Union gave a 72-hour ultimatum to state authority, pressuring state authorities to bring perpetrators responsible for the killing of Dr. Louis Edward to justice, threatening to withdraw its staff working in troubled states and administrative areas within the country.