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Nine humanitarian workers released in South Sudan: aid group

Displaced women and children under a hot sun in South Sudan's Maban County, where food shortages are causing tension. (UNHCR/P. Rulashe Photo)
May 18, 2018 (JUBA) - World Vision, a U.S. humanitarian group, Friday, announced the release of nine aid workers recently abducted in war-torn South Sudan.

The workers had been captured on 14 May, said the statement but it didn’t disclose who and where the kidnapping took place.

However, World Vision said they have been released thanks to UNOCHA which worked with the local authorities to free them.

“We are grateful our staff members and others have returned and we are thankful for the swift collaboration from partners who helped secure their release,” said Mesfin Loha, World Vision’s country director in South Sudan.

UN reports say the government and rebel groups are involved in the insecurity of the aid workers and obstructing the humanitarian access.

The total number of humanitarian workers killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the conflict has reached 100 people, according to a statement released by OCHA on 30 April.

In line with the peace agreement of August 2016 and the cessation of hostilities agreement signed in December 2017, the parties committed themselves to ensure that humanitarians are safe while delivering assistance and services to civilians in the conflict areas.

(ST)