South Sudan: Red Cross stops aid after staff member killed
The Red Cross has halted aid operations across a third of South Sudan after gunmen killed one of its staff members.
Kennedy Laki Emmanuel was killed on September 8 when gunmen in Western Equatoria opened fire on a convoy of aid vehicles. His murder prompted the suspension of Red Cross aid operations across much of the country – the largest of its kind in South Sudan’s four-year civil conflict.
Red Cross aid suspended
In response to the murder of Kennedy Laki Emmanuel, the International Committee of the Red Cross ceased aid operations across Equatoria, where much of the country’s worst fighting has taken place over the last year.
“The ICRC will not resume anything until we have a clear picture of exactly what happened and until we receive the necessary security guarantees,” Red Cross spokeswoman, Mari Mortvedt, told Reuters. “The security of the ICRC staff is top priority.”
The suspension has already affected more than 22,000 people who were due to receive aid from the organisation – including 5,000 farmers on the verge of famine conditions.
Aid workers killed in South Sudan
At least 17 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan so far this year. Which adds up to 84 humanitarian workers who have died in the country’s civil war since it started in December 2013.
According to the Aid Worker Security Database, South Sudan is the world’s most deadly place to deliver aid and humanitarian assistance.
Featured image: By Nny84 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54922061