Humanitarians condemn crimes against aid workers

UN Undersecretary General Mark Lowcock, Alain Noudehou, Humanitarian Coordinator in a  press briefing (photo by Kidega Livingstone)

By Kidega Livingstone

The United Nations Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said the government is responsible for the killing and kidnapping of the aid workers in the Country.

He said this is due to the government’s failure to protect aid workers from the danger yet it has primary responsibility over the security of its citizens.

“Crimes and impunity that have been committed against Aid workers need accountability because it is the responsibility of the government. Everywhere government has primary responsibility to protect the aid workers,” said Lowcock during the press conference at UNMISS compound in Juba.

He said killings and kidnappings are all over the country. Lowcock added that the direct effect is reduced ability to help people in need of humanitarian’s assistance, noting that South Sudan is the most dangerous places where aid workers take huge risk every day in assistance,” he added.

More than 100 aid workers have been killed especially the national workers since the conflict erupted in 2013 according United Nations Humanitarians in South Sudan.

According to Lowcock, the issue of kidnaping and killing aid workers has been repeating itself in the Country that has drawn the attention of the International Community

“The issue of aid workers being kidnaped has been a repeated feature here. More than 100 aid workers have been killed. Kidnaping is part of the violence against aid workers. we need the authority especially the government to do something,” he said.

He emphasized that Peace process has so far produced nothing and that ending violence is the first thing to stop the suffering in this country.

He said the government has appealed for more humanitarian agency to cover the level of suffering in the country. “Everyone needs help unfortunately no situation prevails well here. United Nations and partners committed in South Sudan to relieve the people from suffering. What is needed to help the people in the country is to end the fighting,” he added.

“The humanitarian situation is a process. What we need to make is to support the peace process. Different attitude of the parties to the conflict must change”.

In April 2018 three national aid workers were killed following renewed fighting in multiple locations of Unity state. The aid workers were killed in separate incidents in Mayendit and Leer Counties. Ten others were kidnaped in Yei River state last month.

The Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan Alain Noudehou strongly condemned the attacks.

“Aid workers risk their lives every day to provide life-saving assistance to the people in need in South Sudan. I strongly condemn the targeting of aid workers and demand that those responsible for this act be brought to justice,” Noudehou said.



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