JUBA, (Xinhua) --
At least 390 humanitarian workers have been
successfully evacuated from South Sudan’s restive Maban region
where two humanitarian workers were injured early this week due
to violence, organizations said on Saturday.
The South Sudan NGO
Forum said increased attacks have forced aid agencies to suspend
services except for life-saving and critical activities to
communities around Maban where violence erupted on July 23 after
a peaceful protest by local youth turned violent, leading to
looting, burning of humanitarian premises and damage to aid
“The increase in
attacks on aid workers’ is wrong, unwarranted and we are
extremely disappointed,” Pius Ojara, Director of South Sudan NGO
Forum said in a statement issued in Juba.
Ojara termed the
violence against humanitarian actors, including the most recent
attack in Maban as unacceptable, saying it reduces aid workers’
capacity to implement essential services and activities, leaving
the most vulnerable people in South Sudan at greater risk of
hunger and disease.
attacks hamper efforts by aid agencies and their staff who are
working tirelessly in a challenging environment to help the most
vulnerable people in need of life-saving assistance,” he said.
In Maban, there was
forceful entry into UNHCR and 14 other compounds by
approximately 2,000 youth that resulted into looting, arson,
destruction of vehicles, structures and other humanitarian
assets and lifesaving supplies including medicines.
UNHCR said South
Sudan hosts nearly 300,000 refugees, mostly from Sudan’s South
Kordofan and Blue Nile States. Over 144,000 of those refugees
live in four camps in Maban County.
According to Ojara,
while there was no loss of life, aid workers have been
traumatized by the Maban attacks, saying services will continue
in the four refugee camps hosting 141,548 Sudanese refugees.
The NGO Forum called
for local authorities to investigate the incident and ensure
that organizers and perpetrators are identified and are held
accountable for the unacceptable attacks.
The NGO Forum also
called for assurance from government for protection of
humanitarian workers, assets and supplies in Maban.
conflict that has now entered its fifth year erupted in 2013
after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his former deputy
Riek Machar engaged in combat.
The 2015 peace
agreement to end the violence was again violated in July 2016
when the rival factions resumed fighting in the capital, Juba,
forcing Machar to flee into exile.
Millions of South
Sudan’s civilians have sought refuge in neighboring countries as
the conflict rages on despite attempts by international players
to end it.