Senior UN officials strongly condemn killing of aid workers in South Sudan
March 28,2017 By:Xinhua
UNITED NATIONS, March 28, 2017 -- Senior UN officials have strongly condemned the killing of six aid workers in South Sudan, Farhan Haq, deputy UN spokesman, said at a daily news briefing Monday.
The UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Stephen O'Brien, and the special representative of the UN secretary-general for South Sudan, David Shearer, have both strongly condemned the killing of the aid workers in an ambush on March 25 as they were travelling from Juba to Pibor in South Sudan.
"The ambush represents the highest number of aid workers killed in a single incident since the conflict began and comes after two other grave attacks on aid workers this month," the deputy UN spokesman said.
O'Brien, who is also the UN emergency relief coordinator, said that "this is completely unacceptable and must stop now, especially at a time when humanitarian needs have reached unprecedented levels."
For his part, Shearer said this latest attack occurred in an area controlled by the South Sudanese government and urged the government to investigate and apprehend the offenders.
At least 12 aid workers have been killed in 2017 in South Sudan, Haq said.
Since the start of the conflict in December 2013, at least 79 aid workers have lost their lives as attacks have continued with impunity, Haq noted.
The UN humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, Eugene Owusu, has also issued a statement to speak out against the killing of aid workers in the world's youngest country, he added.
"These attacks against aid workers and aid assets are utterly reprehensible," Owusu said. "They not only put the lives of aid workers at risk, they also threaten the lives of thousands of South Sudanese who rely on our assistance for their survival."
More than three years of conflict have taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan.
Around 7.5 million people across the country are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection and localized famine has been declared in parts of Unity State in South Sudan.