UN condemns threats against aid workers in South Sudan

The United Nations has expressed concern about leaflets threatening aid workers in at least three locations in South Sudan.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan Mahimbo Mdoe said in a statement Thursday that the leaflets were circulated in Jonglei, Torit in Eastern Equatoria and Mankien in Unity State.

Mr Mdoe warned that the threats were a violation of the international humanitarian law.

Help others

“Aid workers are working tirelessly across South Sudan with the sole aim of saving lives and alleviating the suffering of civilians caught-up in conflict and desperate circumstances.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that aid workers who place themselves at risk each day to help others, are being subjected to discrimination, threats and violence,” Mr Mdoe said.

He called upon the Juba administration to ensure the safety of humanitarian workers and work to prevent future threats to them

“Humanitarian workers must be able to reach people in need throughout the country, regardless of their place of origin, ethnicity or any other characteristic.

Swift action

“I call on all those with influence to reiterate their respect for aid workers and to take swift action to prevent threats such as these arising in the future,” Mr Mdoe said.

In late June and early this month, leaflets threatening violence against aid workers from the Equatoria region working in Bor, Jonglei State, were received by aid organisations, sparking fear among those targeted.

Similar leaflets were also circulated last year by some Bahr el Gazal youths against Equatoria aid workers deployed to their region.

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