August 5, 2014 (JUBA) – A staff member of the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) was shot and killed on Monday in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, in what local sources described as an “ethnically” motivated attack.
- NPA demining team in a workshop in Mundri (Photo NPA)
Gabriel Yien Gach was reportedly pulled out of NPA’s vehicle and killed by some unknown groups in Maban county
“It’s with a heavy heart Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) today has received the sad news that our good colleague Gabriel Yien Gach was shot and killed in Maban county in South Sudan this morning”, NPA said in a statement on its website.
“Our thoughts are first and foremost with Gabriel Yien Gach’s family and our colleagues in South Sudan,” it adds.
Gach worked in NPA’s food security and livelihood program, supporting local communities and the internally displaced, with agriculture support and emergency food.
Kathrine Raadim, the head of international department at NPA “strongly” condemned any attacks on civilians during the ongoing crisis in South Sudan.
“Any attacks on civilians are unacceptable, but attacks based on ethnicity are even direr as they will only feed into the circle of violence and revenge”, said Raadim in a statement.
“It is also completely unacceptable to attack NGO (non-governmental organisation)personnel who’s only mission in the field is to help the people of South Sudan in the face of this enormous, man-made, crisis”, she added.
NPA has also demanded investigations in to the killing of their staff and that the perpetrators should fully be held accountable.
UNHCR URGES RESTRAINT
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said it was extremely concerned by the outbreak of fighting in the northern South Sudanese town of Bunj in Maban, where increasing violence compromised the security and well-being of over 100,000 Sudanese refugees and those of humanitarian agencies’ staff assisting them.
According to the agency, sporadic grenade and gunfire from the town’s military barracks, have led fearful civilians to desert the town of Bunj and take cover in and around the Doro refugee camp adjacent to the airstrip.
Doro camp reportedly hosts over 49,200 Sudanese refugees and is the largest of four Sudanese refugee settlements in Maban where over 127,700 people found sanctuary after fleeing from Sudan’s Blue Nile region to escape from violence.
“UNHCR appeals to all parties to the conflict to refrain from harassing humanitarian agents who are dedicated to saving lives of people in need”, said Cosmas Chanda, UNHCR’s South Sudan chief.