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Ebola screening suspended after aid workers killed in S. Sudan

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October 30, 2019 (JUBA) - Three aid workers at Ebola screening points along South Sudan’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were killed in clashes between rival forces on Sunday, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) said Wednesday.

The incident occurred in Central Equatoria region’s Morobo county.

"The IOM volunteers, one female and two males, were caught in a crossfire during clashes that broke out", IOM said in a statement.

It further said two other male volunteers were injured, while a female volunteer and the son of the woman killed were also abducted.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleagues and we extend our heartfelt condolences to their families and friends," said IOM chief of mission in South Sudan, Jean-Philippe Chauzy.

Meanwhile, the agency said it has suspended screening for Ebola at five sites along the border between South Sudan and the DRC.

An Ebola outbreak, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), has killed more than 2,000 people in DRC since August 2018, placing the region on high alert, with cases already having spread to Uganda.

"The safety of our personnel is paramount and will not be further jeopardized until we secure guarantees for the security of all our personnel operating in Morobo County," said Chauzy.

At least 115 aid workers have reportedly been killed since a civil war broke out in South Sudan after President Salva Kiir accused his former deputy Riek Machar of attempting a coup in mid-December 2013.

The conflict in South Sudan has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

(ST)

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