The South Sudan NGO Forum condemns the killing of humanitarian workers in Lakes State
The South Sudan NGO Forum is deeply saddened by the killing of two humanitarian health workers in Lakes State and conveys its condolences to the friends, family, and colleagues of the deceased staff. The South Sudan NGO Forum stands in solidarity with all humanitarians affected by violence.
On 7th June, a clearly marked humanitarian convoy was ambushed on the Mapourdit-Aluakluak road when unknown assailants fired at the cars, resulting in two South Sudanese staff working for CUAMM (Doctors with Africa) being killed. This attack happened less than a month after a similar but unrelated attack in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria State in which a health worker employed by Cordaid was killed on the Chukudum-Kapoeta road. 2021 has already seen a significant increase in the killings and attacks on aid workers compared to the same period last year, continuing a highly concerning trend and putting the lives of those in need of life saving assistance at risk. Humanitarian staff must be able to operate safely in South Sudan.
The NGO Forum is extremely worried at the continued violence affecting roads and crisis afflicted parts of South Sudan. At a time that humanitarian needs are worsening, a safe and enabling environment across the country is critical for aid to reach populations in need. The unavoidable result of NGO fatalities incurred along roads is the reduction or suspension of lifesaving aid, with even more lives lost as a consequence.
Beneficiaries are the ultimate victims when insecurity forces humanitarian agencies to suspend or reduce humanitarian operations. The South Sudan NGO Forum calls upon the Government of South Sudan at all levels to ensure that roads in the country are safe to use and that humanitarian workers and assets are protected. Only then can humanitarian agencies continue to serve the people of South Sudan by reaching communities in need of lifesaving humanitarian assistance.