April 4, 2017(Nyamilepedia) ——– As the families and friends of Mbugua Chege, Wainaina Mbugua and Wanjau Njaaga mourn silently at the front of over crowded International Arrival at the Jommo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya, three coffins were being driven through a private door by unidentified staffs of Kenyan airway.
At least 4 Kenyans were killed on March 25th at approximately 53 kilometres, a distance of less than one hour drive, from the South Sudanese capital, Juba.
While the body of the forth Kenyan, whose family could not afford air transport, was being driven to Kenya by road, three other humanitarian workers, who were of South Sudanese orginin, were already buried in South Sudan.
The humanitarian workers worked for Grassroots Empowerment and Development Organization (Gredo), a non-governmental Organization funded by Unicef.
The aid workers were ambushed immediately after leaving the capital, Juba, by road for Pibor, a town in eastern South Sudan.
Although the government has not condemned the attack or pledged to investigate the deadly incident in its controlled area, South Sudan’s government officials have raised cost of humanitarian worker in the country up to $10, 000 for a one year permit, and continued to hinder humanitarian access to many parts of the country.
South Sudan’s government officials have increased hate speeches against humanitarian assistants in the country as the Kiir’s government is being accused by international partners of engineering famine and pursuing war to reduce populations of non-Dinka tribes in the country.
According to GREDO, the four Kenyan killed in that ambush include Mr Samsom Mbugua Chege, Mr David Wainaina Mbugua and Mr Joseph Wanjau Njaaga.
Despite that the Kenyan government has not condemned the deadly ambush, the four Kenyan killed in that incident were all from Mr. Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe.
Cold as ice, the Program Director Jaffar Mbugua, who lost relatives and employees, was among those who received the bodies at Jommo Kenyatta Airport.
According to Mr Kimani Mbugua, who lost his brother, Mr Chege in the ambush, the last time they heard from Chege was in mid March, 2017.
Kimani said that Chege told them he will be traveling to Pibor on a new contract with GREDO, however, he thought they would fly to Pibor by air, unfortunately things changed.
Chege had worked in South Sudan for at least 9 years. He went to the war-torn nation to teach English at first and later switched to work for NGOs as education become less sustainable due to a man-made civil war.
According to Ms Ann Nyokabi Karanja, a cousin to Mr. Mbugua, her cousin returned home last December but left again in February this year to begin a new contract with GREDO, only to meet his fate in the hands of South Sudanese unknown gunmen.
The death of the 7 humanitarian workers brings the total death of aid workers to 79 since the conflict broke out in December 2013, making South Sudan the most dangerous country for a humanitarian assistants to work in.
According to UNMISS reports, there has been an increased of attacks targeting aid workers and their premises in South Sudan in the past two months.
“In the past two months there has been a sharp increase of attacks targeting aid workers and their premises, a development that mirrors a rapid deterioration of the security and economic situation of the country.” Reads part of UNMISS reports.
Most of these killings are being committed in government controlled territories giving the armed opposition, SPLM/A-IO, a window to accused and condemn the regime for such brutal attacks on un-armed populations.
“In this regards we condemn in the strongest terms possible the barbaric killing of six aid workers by the government forces(SPLA) on Saturday 25th March 2017 on Juba-Pibor road” Said Tingo Peter Lingbo, the Secretary General of SPLM/A-IO
“We have no doubts the killings of these humanitarian aid workers have been carried out by the regime forces as these areas are under their full control” SG Tingo continued.
Majority of these killings were committed in government controlled areas including the main capitals like Juba, Malakal and Wau.
So far no one has claimed responsibility and the government has not made any efforts to investigate such barbaric killings.