The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the World Food Programme (WFP) strongly condemn the attempted ambush of an interagency UN convoy.
On February 28, a convoy of 59 trucks carrying WFP food and nutrition assistance came under attack from armed gunmen some 30 KM from Gadiang, 160 KM from Bor in Jonglei State.
Under the protection of UNMISS Force, the convoy was en route to various locations to preposition much needed assistance for 95,000 people ahead of the rainy season when access becomes heavily restricted. A UN Peacekeeper suffered a gunshot wound and is in stable condition.
“Continued attacks on humanitarians and the attempted looting of vital relief which millions of vulnerable people depend on to survive are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law,” said acting Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan Mr. Meshack Malo.
These incidents derail humanitarians’ ability to deliver lifesaving assistance to people in need during the limited window of opportunity available to reach them.
“At a time of major funding constraints, the loss of aid due to theft, looting or destruction means that every bag of food, nutrition or other humanitarian supplies looted is stolen directly from the South Sudanese families most in need,” added Mr. Malo.
The number of attacks against humanitarian convoys and assets has been on the rise across South Sudan, reaching 591 in 2021, according to OCHA. Active hostilities, sub-national violence and violence against humanitarian operations have led humanitarian organizations to seek force protection from UNMISS during the delivery of assistance.
UNMISS and WFP call on the Government to carry out an investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice and urge the community to respect humanitarian operations and UN Peacekeepers who are working to promote peace and stability in South Sudan.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).