UN condemns killing of 3 aid workers in South Sudan

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JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN - FEBRUARY 25: The now destroyed tent camp areas in the UN Protection of Civilian sites in Malakal in the northern conflict zone of South Sudan. This vast and crowded camp was attacked just over a week ago by armed gunmen who killed 25 and injured over 100 more. Some are returning to the charred site to retrieve anything that might have survived the blaze in February 17-18. The attackers burnt down over a third of the campas well as water towers, latrines, a UNICEF school and IOM medical clinic. Around 5,000 Shilooks (one of the three main ethnic tribes) were led out and are now at various locations around the now ruined town of Malakal- now creating very difficult logistics for the UN and various other aid agencies on the ground in the area. (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A UN camp in South Sudan. (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)

The UN humanitarian agency on Wednesday condemned the killing of three aid workers in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria region by unknown gunmen.

Alain Noudehou, humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, said he regretted the incident which took place in Morobo county on Sunday, saying aid workers risk their lives every day to provide life-saving assistance to people in need in the country.

“Their safety and security must be assured at all times. I strongly condemn violence against humanitarian workers and demand that those responsible for these acts be brought to justice,” Noudehou said in a statement issued in Juba.

On Sunday, three International Organization for Migration (IOM) volunteers, one female and two males, were caught in crossfire during clashes that broke out between armed groups.

According to the UN agency, two other volunteers were wounded during the incident and one volunteer is currently missing.

“Our deepest condolences go to the families of the victims and to the affected organization,” Noudehou said.

IOM said earlier it has suspended Ebola Virus Disease screening at five sites along the border with the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo and put on hold its support to health facilities in the area.

This is the first killing of aid workers reported in South Sudan since 2018, according to the UN.

At least 115 aid workers have been killed since the start of the conflict in December 2013. Most were South Sudanese nationals, said the UN.

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