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Authorities condemn attack on humanitarian convoy

By Deng Ghai Deng

Authorities in Jonglei State condemn the attacks and road ambushes which left at least six people dead and several others injured in separate incidents in the last three days.

John Samuel Manyuon, the Jonglei State Minister of Information said that the attacks include an ambush on UN WFP convoy in Uror, Akobo and Duk counties.

“on Friday over the weekend, there was an attack on humanitarian convoy head from Gadiang to Yuai and three people were killed. Along the way the fell in an ambush. The following day there was an attack in Duk county. Also on Sunday there was cattle raid in Akobo in whichtwo people were killed as well.” Manyuon said

He added that he accused the armed youth alleged from Greater Pibor Administrative area of terrorizing the Jonglei State. However, the minister of information in Pibor Jay Adingora denied knowledge of the incidents saying he could not verify whether the attackers are from his area or not.

“We have no information about the attacks and we cannot verify whether it is true or not.” Adingora said.

In a press release of Friday evening, the United Nations World Food Programmed (WFP) has strongly condemned the recent attack on a convoy carrying humanitarian supplies and again called on the government to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.  Adeyinka Badejo, acting Country Director for WFP in South Sudan said a convoy of 44 trucks carrying WFP food assistance came under attack from armed gunmen between Gadiang and Yuai in Jonglei State. This is the third ambush in Jonglei State in the past four months. Three people on the convoy were killed during the attack and another was injured, according to WFP.

“These continued attacks and looting only serve to make humanitarian work increasingly challenging and sabotage life-saving food assistance destined for vulnerable communities.” Badejo said

“Further attacks on humanitarian convoys will put humanitarian assistance at risk where WFP will be forced to suspend its food assistance in greater Jonglei until there is a conducive environment for humanitarians in the area,” he cautioned.

WFP said it has invested considerable efforts to negotiate humanitarian access in hard-to-reach areas to ensure isolated and marginalized people receive the assistance they need.

“However, it is first and foremost the Government’s responsibility to ensure safety and security for the population and the humanitarian community,” the press release read. “WFP once again calls on the government to investigate each incident where humanitarian workers and/or cargo have been targeted, including one in March 2022 and one in December 2021.”

“Only by bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensuring respect for humanitarian operations will WFP and its partners be able to effectively assist the people of South Sudan,” the statement concluded.

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