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JUBA - 21 May 2020

UN condemns killing of 3 aid workers in Jonglei

The UN humanitarian agency has condemned the killing of three aid workers in intercommunal clashes in Uror County of Jonglei State over the weekend.

Members of the Murle on Saturday launched attacks on a number of villages inhabited by Lou Nuer community. According to government reports, the attacks left 242 people dead and injured another 370.

Alain Noudehou, the humanitarian coordinator, condemned the killing of three humanitarian workers, including a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff member and two staff members of another humanitarian organization, after intense fighting erupted in and around Pieri village.

Noudehou also called for an end to recurring acts of violence that he said were disrupting life-saving assistance and the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in many parts of the country.

"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of three aid workers in Pieri and call for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice," Noudehou said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He called on the government and all parties and communities must "step up efforts to protect humanitarians who are taking great risks to their safety to provide much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan."

"Intercommunal clashes and armed conflict are hampering humanitarian efforts to pre-position food, medicine and other aid supplies in the final weeks before the rains become heavier and cut off road access to vulnerable communities," he added.

Intercommunal violence has broken out several times in the past months in Jonglei, an area that has experienced years of food insecurity and was severely affected by flooding last year.