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South Sudan vows to adequately protect aid workers

August 19, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudanese authorities have vowed to protect aid workers and facilitate the transportation of humanitarian supplies by providing adequate security to aid organizations.

Part of an 18-truck WFP convoy crossing into South Sudan from Sudan, carrying 700 metric tons of food, in Nov 2014 (WFP video screen capture)
Part of an 18-truck WFP convoy crossing into South Sudan from Sudan, carrying 700 metric tons of food, in Nov 2014 (WFP video screen capture)

Speaking to reporters in the capital, Juba, humanitarian affairs and disaster management minister, Hussein Mar Nyuot, acknowledged the difficulties aid workers and organizations face while delivering help to South Sudan.

“We in the government want to assure our partners that we stand for firm cooperation, firm coordination and we want to ensure that aid assistance that comes to our country is delivered to all our vulnerable people anywhere they are,” said Nyuot.

All protocols governing aid workers will be adhered to, he added.

South Sudan has been experiencing violence since December 2013. More than 80 aid workers, the United Nations says, have been killed since violence broke out in South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011.

In a statement issued Friday, however, the humanitarian co-coordinator in South Sudan, Serge Tissot, said attacks also put millions of South Sudanese at risk amid the country’s civil war.

The world’s youngest nation has become one of the most dangerous places for aid workers to operate, owing to reports that 15 aid workers have died this year.

According to the world body attacks on aid workers include looting of warehouses, trucks and the loss of tons of food aid.

The UN often requested South Sudan governments to protect aid workers and allow them do their jobs without restrictions.

The South Sudanese humanitarian affairs minister said the government has never imposed restriction for delivery of relief assistance and movement of aid workers.

“We are not discriminating and the government doesn’t impede any access of humanitarian delivery. We are neutral and we give humanitarian access to anybody because these are our own people,” he further told reporters.

(ST)

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