Looting, vandalism forces aid groups to scale back operations in South Sudan

Aid workers in South Sudan are scaling back operations after armed youths looted and vandalized their property.

The United Nations refugee agency says the young people were concerned about the lack of employment opportunities offered by humanitarian organisations. Most of the targeted organisations operate in Maban in Upper Nile State.

The protesting youth also reportedly burnt down a tent belonging to Medicines San Frontiers or MSF that was full of medical equipment. They also destroyed vehicles and communication devices.

Three aid workers were injured in the incident.

According to the UNHCR, Maban County hosts over 144,000 refugees, who will be affected vastly by the scaling down of operations by the aid groups.

South Sudan has been plagued by conflict since December 2013 following a feud between President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar.

The war has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions others, prompting the UN to rank the country as Africa’s biggest refugee crisis.

There is hope for peace however, as the warring factions signed a peace deal last month, one that could lead to the formation of a unity government and a roadmap for presidential elections.