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S. Sudan: NGO body condemn "continuing" attacks on civilians, humanitarian workers

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Aid workers and civilians arrive from Juba to Entebbe airport in Uganda, Wednesday, July, 13, 2016.(AP Photo)

June 30, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan NGO Forum has condemned the continuing attacks on civilians and aid workers across the country, urging all parties to protect citizens from violence.

In recent weeks, the group said, outbreaks of localised violence have continued to affect the country’s populations, causing further displacement, and a worsening of the humanitarian situation for those already grappling with the impacts of conflicts and flooding.

An upsurge of violence has been reported in Upper Nile, Jonglei, the Greater Pibor Administrative Area and Central Equatoria state.

Also on the increase are cattle related violence as well as highway ambushes in several parts of the young nation.

“The impact of this violence directly affects the most vulnerable communities at a time when over 60% of the country is projected to be in an acute stage of hunger and malnutrition and over 100,000 people could be at risk of famine,” the forum said.

It added, “Critically, women and girls are disproportionally at risk from this violence, suffering direct attacks and continued sexual and gender-based violence, as well as suffering from the indirect effects of displacement and disruption”.

This year alone, at least seven humanitarian staff and health workers, most of them South Sudanese, have reportedly been killed while on duty.

Such attacks mainly occurred various areas of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area, Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria State.

“Attacks have resulted in multiple suspensions of services across the country as the safety and security of aid workers become increasingly perilous,” the NGO body stressed in the statement.

Meanwhile, South Sudan NGO Forum reiterated calls for the government of South Sudan and all stakeholders to urgently ensure that all the civilians and aid workers are protected from violence.

A total of 126 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since the conflict broke out in late 2013.

(ST)