JUBA, South Sudan, October 5, 2021 / APO Group / –
South Sudan Acting Humanitarian Coordinator Matthew Hollingworth strongly condemns the latest threat to humanitarian organizations in the Grand Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) and calls on authorities and communities to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.
“I am deeply concerned about the latest threat from youth groups against humanitarians serving the South Sudanese community. We are here to provide essential assistance to the most vulnerable, including women, children and the elderly, ”said Mr. Hollingworth.
On October 4, a letter from a group of young people in Pibor was published demanding that at least 30 aid workers leave the area within 72 hours. The youth group accused aid workers from other parts of the country of occupying positions they said belong to the local community.
“The consequences of these threats will impact the provision of essential services to people, such as emergency food aid, health and nutrition services and protection support, among others. Without these frontline workers, all of whom are South Sudanese citizens, we cannot reach the people with life-saving assistance and the humanitarian needs of the people will worsen, ”continued Mr. Hollingworth.
This latest incident of youth interference will have an impact on response operations for more than 100,000 of the most vulnerable people in the administrative area of Grand Pibor. Since the start of the year, aid workers have been threatened and attacked by young people in Renk in Upper Nile and Torit in eastern Equatoria, to name a few. These attacks resulted in the suspension of humanitarian activities and the relocation of workers.
“The worrying trend of threats and attacks by youth groups against humanitarians is unacceptable and must stop. I call on all parties, at all levels, to respect, protect and enable humanitarian action. This tendency to target fellow citizens only delays and discourages public and private development initiatives that we all want to see work alongside relief efforts in the most vulnerable areas of the country. Mr. Hollingworth concluded.
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