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UN relief chief condemns attack on WFP-boat convoy in Lakes state

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October 6, 2020 (JUBA) - The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou has strongly condemned an unprovoked attack on a WFP boat-convoy on the River Nile in Lakes State, and called for an end to repeated acts of violence which are disrupting life-saving assistance to flood-affected people.

Alain Noudéhou (UN photo)

On 5 October, a WFP boat-convoy carrying food for vulnerable people was ambushed by armed actors close to Shambe town in Lakes. The convoy was transporting food from Bor to people affected by floods in Melut and Malakal, Upper Nile.

The impact of the gunfire reportedly resulted in one cargo vessel being sunk with its cargo of much needed humanitarian supplies.

During this attack, three of the cargo vessel staff suffered gunshot injuries and one person is missing and presumed killed.

“The violence against humanitarian workers must stop. I strongly condemn this attack on a humanitarian convoy that was transporting food to flood-affected people. Perpetrators must be brought to justice. I call upon the Government and all parties to protect humanitarians and people supporting the efforts to provide assistance to the millions of people who are in need,” said Noudéhou.

Some 800,000 people have been affected by flooding in South Sudan since July. A total of 37 of counties out of 78 are affected with many areas still underwater and people are unable to tend to their lands and livestock. An estimated 368,000 have been displaced. Women and children are the most affected.

“I stand by WFP and all humanitarians working on the frontline to provide life-saving assistance. Humanitarians workers continue to work in difficult conditions to reach communities affected by the floods, but we need unimpeded access and be able to work in a safe environment," stressed Noudéhou.

(ST)

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