ICRC, CEPOcondemnkilling of staff member
By Jale Richard
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has condemned the killing of its staffmember by unknown gunmen duringan attack on its convoy last Friday.
Lukudu Kennedy Laki Emmanuel, a driver was killed when an ICRC convoy of nine trucks and a four-wheel-drive vehicle was shot at by unknown assailants. The convoy was returning from an assistance operation in Western Equatoria.
The ICRC said it was shocked and dismayed by the killing. “We are shaken and distraught by the killing of our colleague who was travelling in a convoy of vehicles which were clearly marked with the Red Cross emblem. In addition, all parties to the conflict in the area had been duly notified about our presence,” said François Stamm, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Juba.
Mari AftretMortvert, ICRC Communications delegate said all the movements and operations in that area had been stopped until the situation improves.
She saidthe attack was one of the major incidents involving the ICRC and was a threat to the safety of all aid workers in the country.
Mari said it was important that the emblem of the ICRC is respected in their movement because they work to save lives.
She called for investigations in the attack and assurances of safety to the humanitarian workers so that when they move, they would feel safe.
“For us itismore than the driver but also on all the humanitarian workers,” she said.
Kennedy joined the ICRC in 2014 as a truck driver in the Juba Delegation. He was married and left behind seven children.
Mari said all those involved in the conflict should protect the civilian population and to ensure that humanitarian workers could perform their duties safely without fear.“The Red Cross emblem must be respected at all times,” she said.
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO)condemned the attack, calling it an act of enemies against humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities.
“Killing humanitarian workers is a violation of the international humanitarian law and it constitutes crime against humanity,” Edmund Yakani the Executive Director of CEPO said.
He said the perpetrators of the attack should be held accountable.
Yakanicalled upon all the armed groups to consider peaceful and non-violent approach in solving their political grievances.
According to the UN, at least 27 incidences on aid workers have been reported causing the relocation of more than 287 humanitarian staff from January to July 2017.