Juba, South Sudan, May 31, 2021 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has condemned the ongoing attacks and killing of humanitarian workers in various parts of South Sudan.
In a statement extended to Nyamilepedia, Samantha Power, USAID Country Administrator said targeted attacks against humanitarian workers were hindering the delivery of aid to the people in need. Samantha called on the government to hold perpetrators to account.
“In recent months, South Sudan has seen a troubling rise in violence against humanitarian workers, including the killing of two aid workers this month,” she said.
“The United States condemns this violence and calls on the Government of South Sudan to protect civilians and humanitarians and to arrest the perpetrators in Renk, Torit, and Jamjang and hold them accountable,” she continued.
USAID warned that violence against humanitarians, especially in Unity and Upper Nile States, could block over 40,000 people on the edge of famine.
“Violence against aid organizations not only puts aid workers’ lives at risk; it disrupts the flow of life-saving aid to those in need.”
“Recent attacks have forced some organizations to suspend humanitarian assistance in Unity and Upper Nile states, which are nearing famine conditions, meaning that 45,000 people could lose access to the aid they desperately need,” the statement continues.
The humanitarian agency said over 400 incidents of violence aimed at aid workers have been reported in the span of two years; from 2020 – 2021.
“South Sudan is perennially one of the most dangerous countries for aid workers to operate in. Since the beginning of 2020, there have been more than 400 violent incidents against aid workers, according to the United Nations,” Samantha wrote.
“Our humanitarian partners work tirelessly and at great personal risk to deliver assistance. Maintaining their safety and unhindered access to people in need is critical to keeping people alive,” part of her statement continued.
South Sudan has seen rising attacks aimed at not just aid workers but also clerics. USAID urged the government to take action and address the prevalent violence against aid workers.
“Attacks, intimidation, or threats against aid workers, regardless of nationality, are unacceptable. The Government of South Sudan must take immediate and effective measures to protect humanitarian workers and provide sustained and unhindered access to those who are experiencing food insecurity and other acute humanitarian needs,” USAID reiterated.