South Sudan: UN calls on government to protect civilians and aid workers following attacks

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The United Nations is calling on South Sudan’s government to protect civilians and aid workers in the country following a series of attacks against both groups.

UN humanitarian representative for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, denounced “outrageous abuses” committed by both government and opposition forces last week, calling on both sides of the conflict to ensure the safety of innocent civilians and aid workers.

 

Attacks against civilians, aid workers

Owusu is referring to reports of attacks targeting civilians in Eastern Equatoria and aid workers in Upper Nile last week. These aren’t the first attacks of their kind in South Sudan by any means but the UN on Saturday expressed concern over a rise in attacks against civilians and aid workers in the country.

“I am appalled by the reports,” Owusu said in a statement. “I implore the leadership in South Sudan to rapidly investigate these allegations and to end all attacks against civilians.”

“I call on those in power to take swift action to end the targeting of innocent people in this conflict and to hold those responsible to account,” he added.

 

Humanitarian situation ‘deteriorating’

The attacks on aid workers come at a time when the need for humanitarian aid in South Sudan is at an all-time high. The UN describes the troubled country’s humanitarian situation as “deteriorating” with millions of people in need of urgent aid.

South Sudan’s government has been accused of failing to guarantee full access for aid workers to people in the country’s most desperate areas. Last month the government revoked plans to increase work visa fees for aid workers from $100 to $10,000 following a backlash from the international community, which claims the government is profiteering from its people’s suffering.

The UN says it is experiencing the world’s most desperate humanitarian crisis in its history with widespread conflict and famine pushing the international community’s aid funds to the limit.

 

Featured image: By Wilfried Huss / Anonymous – Flag of the United Nations from the Open Clip Art website. Modifications by Denelson83, Zscout370 and Madden. Official construction sheet here.United Nations (1962) The United Nations flag code and regulations, as amended November 11, 1952, New York OCLC: 7548838., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437460

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.