UN concern over escalating violence in South Sudan

The United Nations expressed its “concern at the escalation of violence” in southern Sudan, following the killing of a number of humanitarian workers.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), a total of 8 humanitarian workers have been killed in southern Sudan since the beginning of this year.

The Osha office said in a statement that “a person working for an international NGO was killed last week in an exchange of fire in the central state of Unity.”

A United Nations staff member working at a health centre in a displaced persons’ camp had been killed during the same week and a third victim had been killed in an ambush in Jonglei State, which was experiencing armed violence and ethnic conflict.

The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Sudan, Sarah Bisulu Nyanti, said, “The people of South Sudan are living in insecurity and experiencing a rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis.”

“Those who work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable are losing their lives,” Nyanti added.

The Coordinator continued: “We condemn in the strongest terms all forms of violence against civilians and humanitarian workers,” calling on “militants and competent authorities to protect the lives of civilians and humanitarian workers.”

Since its independence from the State of the Sudan in 2011, South Sudan has been living in difficult security and economic situations. It is one of the world’s poorest countries, despite its large oil reserves. It has also lived for several years in civil war, natural disasters, ethnic violence and political strife over governance.

The United Nations and the international community regularly accuse the leaders of South Sudan of maintaining the status quo, fuelling violence, suppressing political freedoms and misappropriating public funds.

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