Humanitarian workers strive to deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan, including women, children and older persons. Attacking them, looting assets and forcing humanitarian organizations to suspend activities is unacceptable and has to stop,” said Arafat Jamal, the Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim in South Sudan.
Fighting reportedly broke out between youth groups in Marial Lou, Tonj North, Warrap State on 8 July and continued into the next day.
According to initial reports, more than 5,000 people were displaced, shelter, health centers, schools and churches were destroyed and a World Food Program (WFP) warehouse looted.
Since March, however, there has been a rise in the number of attacks against aid workers, people serving the community and assets belonging to humanitarian organisations across South Sudan.
The UN official urged national and local authorities to strengthen law enforcement and ensure the safety of communities and humanitarian organizations, stressing that trend of increased violence against humanitarians and humanitarian assets cannot continue.
“We must be able to safely reach people in remote and highly food-insecure areas without the threat of attack. Acts of criminality must stop, and the perpetrators of the violence and looting brought to justice,” said Jamal.
“Those people who commit these crimes are punishing the most vulnerable people in their own communities,” he added.
More than 120 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since conflict broke out in mid-December 2013.