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Donors condemn violence against aid workers in South Sudan’s Renk


Women wait to receive food by ICRC at a site in Leer County region of South Sudan on April 11, 2017 (AP photo) October 23, 2020 (JUBA) - International donors strongly condemned attacks on aid workers in Renk and urged the South Sudanese government to provide the needed protection to humanitarian groups.

On 22 October, a youth group looted a store of Medair organization in Upper Nile State before to set it on fire. They also vandalized the group’s vehicles.

Local youth had demanded the Catholic aid group, earlier this month, to assign jobs for them instead of staff members. This week they insisted that the aid groups should leave the area without their assets.

"The international community strongly condemns the actions that led to the burning down of a Medair warehouse in Renk, as reported on Thursday 22 October, which cannot be tolerated," reads a joint statement issued by the ambassadors of the U.S., Switzerland, Germany, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada and the EU.

The foreign diplomatic missions pointed out that such an environment is not conducive to deliver humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable population.

"We urge the R-TGONU to engage local community leaders and groups to work together and to continue dialogue, uphold law and order and achieve a swift and peaceful resolution,".

They further backed Medair’s decision to suspend activities and withdraw from the area.

Seven aid workers were killed in South Sudan in 2020 until now.

However, OCHA reported the improvement of humanitarian access between July and September, partly due to the decrease of violence.

"A total of 117 reported access incidents took place in the third quarter, a 29 per cent decrease from 163 in the second quarter," said OCHA in a report on 19 October.


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