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South Sudan peace monitors decry increased attacks on aid workers

JUBA, (Xinhua) -- South Sudan peace monitors on Thursday decried increased attacks on humanitarian workers and called on authorities to investigate the latest attacks at the Maban camp in northern Upper Nile in which aid workers were injured.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) also expressed its outrage and strongly condemned the attack on humanitarian workers and the destruction of facilities and equipment at the Maban camp.

“Attacks on aid workers who diligently offer their services to alleviate the suffering of people of South Sudan, are deeply regrettable and indeed a violation of the Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access signed in December 2017,” the peace monitors said in a joint statement.

Relief agencies have said the current wave of attacks on its workers including civilians Maban County which has no military or police presence, is symptomatic of the brutal violence that has characterized the conflict in South Sudan since December 2013.

Maban County is home to a major aid operation providing life-saving relief to over thousands of refugees and local communities 

The peace monitors said the latest attack at Maban camp is one of the many other attacks that targeted aid workers in the country in the recent past, including killings of personnel.

“JMEC calls on the authorities to carry out an independent investigation into the attack and to hold those responsible to account,” it said.

South Sudan has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict that has have taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan.

The conflict has displaced some 4 million people internally and externally, with the UN warning that another 7 million people remain severely food insecure.


South Sudan to probe attacks on UN aid workers

JUBA, (Xinhua) -- The South Sudanese government on Wednesday announced creation of a high-level security committee to probe the recent attacks on aid workers and facilities in the Upper Nile region.

Michael Chiengjiek, South Sudan’s Interior Minister, said President Salva Kiir authorized formation of the high-level committee to investigate the latest attack on aid workers.

“The president formed a high-level facts-finding committee that will go to the ground and investigate the details of the attack,” Chiengjiek told reporters in Juba.

The minister said the meeting condemned the burning of the international organization headquarters in Maban, located in the Upper Nile region.

On Monday, youth in Maban attacked aid workers and facilities in the northwestern part of the country to protest lack of job opportunities for local communities, triggering a violent confrontation with security personnel.

The UNHCR and UN humanitarian agency in South Sudan condemned the violent attacks on Monday. International medical charity Doctors without Borders (MSF) announced suspension of its medical activities in the region on Tuesday.

According to UNHCR, South Sudan hosts nearly 300,000 refugees, mostly from Kordofan and Blue Nile States. Over 144,000 of those refugees live in four camps in Maban County.

UN said thousands of humanitarian agencies are providing aid to millions of people in South Sudan affected by war, hunger and disease in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

South Sudan’s 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.


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