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South Sudan is the most difficult place for aid workers: UNMISS

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 David Shearer (UN photo)
August 18, 2017 (JUBA) — The head of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) David Shearer Friday said the east African country is the most difficult place in the world for humanitarian workers.

"I have worked all over the world but I can’t think of a more difficult place to work than here logistically in terms of the conflict, the need is sort of a perfect storm in terms of difficulty," Shearer said in a speech during an event organised in Juba to mark the World Humanitarian Day.

Some 15 aid workers were killed this year until now bringing the number of humanitarians killed during the four-year conflict to 85 people as they continue to be attacked and the humanitarian assistance looted by gunmen in various areas in the troubled country.

The international official further renewed calls to respect the aid workers and to protect their lives.

"We should acknowledge that we are in an enormous number of places across South Sudan, and if you were not there, there would be tens of hundreds of people who wouldn’t be alive today. And there are pockets of places we have real problems getting to like Kajo Keji, some of the places in Upper Nile," he further said.

UN personnel and aid workers accuse both the government army and rebels of attacks on humanitarian staff in South Sudan since the civil war began in 2013.

The military commander of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was lost his job, after the rape on five foreign aid workers and murder their local colleague after an attack on the Terrain Hotel in the capital Juba by South Sudanese army on July 11, 2016.

The peacekeepers stationed a mile away had been requested to intervene but they didn’t come.

The acting head of the UN Humanitarian Coordination Office (UNOCHA) Serge Tissot underlined that the insecurity affects directly the humanitarian efforts to reach the, 7.5 million war-affected people who are in dire need of humanitarian support.

"We continue to face the ongoing challenge to serve and free access to populations in need. Aid workers have been directly targeted by armed actors, denied access and subjected to beatings. The way aid workers are treated show a complete lack of respect from all parties to the conflict," Serge said.

For her part, the head of international NGO staff Deepmala Mahla said only during this year there were 32 looting attacks and 257 incidents of violence against aid workers.

The UN recently started the deployment of some 4000 peacekeepers to protect civilians and aid workers in the capital Juba. The initial force will be deployed into the other areas.

The four-year conflict has fractured South Sudan along ethnic lines. Also, it forced over two million to flee to neighbouring and displaced the quarter of the estimated 12 million population.

(ST)

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  • 19 August 12:33, by Agany Malim

    UN contributed to the killing of 85 aid workers bcoz the don’t recruited local people within their community os that they will be kill by their own people instead the just recruited from other places or from certain tribe and send them to war areas that they are aid workers that is how these people got killed.

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    • 19 August 13:23, by pabaak

      Indeed UN is part and parcel on this killing because their intention is to bring down the government of S sudan something they will not achieved. See how their reporters says when they described the conflict in south sudan is always Kiiir as a Dinka and Riek Machar as a Nuer. This very dangerous UN report being doing. This UN representative Sharer is not different with former Hilde

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      • 19 August 13:32, by pabaak

        Johnson who serve before here in south Sudan. They need to understand that this country has caused 2.5 million lives in order become as independent Country I am not saying your aid worker is worthless but when you raised up your voice too much like that is totally un acceptable to the the people of South SUdan.

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        • 19 August 13:46, by pabaak

          He talk like UN has become very clean of wrong doing how times UN had been involved in so many crimes where ever they have been deployed in any part of world? Something they fail to correct it for long. When you raise you voice you mean calling the worod to punish south Sudan or what?

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