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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Joint Statement on Escalating Tension in Renk by UK, US, Swiss, Germany, France, Norway, Netherlands, Canada and EU delegates

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The Heads of Mission of the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada and the European Union Delegation express deep concern regarding escalating tensions with the Renk Youth Association that has resulted in the suspension of life-saving assistance in Renk county.

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. This follows days of increased threats and intimidation against staff members. The current circumstances are not conducive to the delivery of aid, which has already impacted the ability of thousands of the most vulnerable to access key services. Furthermore, this risks the large-scale economic opportunities that aid supports in Renk.

As donors, we stand by the Statement of Principles and Actions (Humanitarian Donors Nov 2019) which underlines the importance of enabling humanitarians to operate safely and securely.

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.

As donors, we require the elimination of obstructions on humanitarian assistance, such as threats, intimidation and destructions of property and commodities.

As these attacks against civilians, aid workers, facilities, and supplies are ongoing, we uphold the right of our partners to suspend services and withdraw from local operations. We call on the Government at all levels to provide the conditions for access and safe delivery of aid across South Sudan.

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