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Sudan Tribune

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Aid agencies condemn attacks on humanitarians, urge end to violence

March 20, 2023 (JUBA) – The humanitarian community in South Sudan has strongly condemned a targeted attack on humanitarian assets and staff in Jonglei State where two people were killed and others seriously injured.

On 17 March, a humanitarian convoy of more than 100 trucks transporting food and other humanitarian assistance reportedly came under attack.

Two contracted drivers were reportedly shot in the attack, one fatally.

Another person died in a road traffic accident as a result of the incident.

A humanitarian staff was also injured and is currently receiving treatment.

“The humanitarian community is appalled by the continued attacks targeting humanitarians and their assets. These recurring acts of violence disrupt the delivery of life-saving assistance and must end,” said Meshack Malo, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan.

Following the latest attack, World Food Programme (WFP) was forced to temporarily pause its convoy movements out of Bor for the second time in as many weeks, to re-assess mitigation measures.

“This corridor is critical for our food prepositioning ahead of the rainy season when roads are inaccessible and more than one million people in Jonglei and Pibor rely on the humanitarian food assistance that we transport along this route,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, Country Director for WFP in South Sudan.

“The safety and security of staff and contractors is paramount and when incidents like this occur it is women, men, and children in desperate need of assistance who suffer the most,” she added.


The United States embassy also condemned the March 17 attack on a convoy in which two people were killed and several others injured.

“We offer our condolences to the families of the victims.  We call on the leaders of the transitional government of South Sudan and its security forces to prevent attacks on humanitarian aid workers and staff,” it said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

South Sudan is one the most dangerous places for aid workers, with nine humanitarian workers reportedly killed in the line of duty and 418 incidents reported in 2022. Before this incident, since the beginning of the year, three aid workers were killed while on duty providing critical services to the most vulnerable affected by the protracted humanitarian situation.