Senseless Killings of Aid Workers Draws Condemnation
Six unarmed Sudanese aid workers were killed by militia who were hunting down members of the Nuer ethnic group in Upper Nile State, South Sudan.
Within just two days, two of the victims were murdered in the town of Bunj while another three were killed in an ambush. Earlier this week, the sixth aid worker was killed and a seventh is missing and presumed dead.
A new wave of violence has engulfed the South Sudan-Sudan border since December which is said to be ethnically targeting civilians.
According to media reports, all the victims belong to the Nuer ethnic group.
The violence has led 100,000 residents to flee, leavin their homes behind. This lead also to predictions that the violence may threaten the stability of the war-inflicted nation.
Even after gaining its independence, still 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing emergency food insecurity from a man-made crisis in the African nation.
US Condemns the Killing of Aid Workers
In a press statement in Washington DC, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States strongly condemns the recent reports of targeted and deliberate killings of six humanitarian aid workers in Maban County, Upper Nile State, South Sudan.
He said the people of South Sudan are paying a horrific price for the failure of its leaders to resolve the senseless conflict.
The US called on all parties to immediately refrain from intimidation of humanitarian workers and the deliberate and ethnically-based targeting of civilians.
“The killing of innocent humanitarian workers who risked their lives to provide desperately needed aid at time is simply appalling.” – Secretary Kerry
He emphasized that the Government of South Sudan has a responsibility to protect humanitarian workers, and ensure its forces comply with repeated government commitments to facilitate humanitarian assistance.
500 Killed In Recent Violence In Bor
In mid-December 2013, South Sudan’s military lost control of a key town in the country’s east, to army mutineers.
The army lost Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, to a military faction associated with former Vice President Riek Machar, who denied attempting a coup. Riek Machar claimed it is President Salva Kiir who is inciting ethnic tensions.
Jonglei state has been plagued with ethnic tension between the Nuer and Murle tribes in recent years with recurrent attacks and massacres of civilians.
Reports coming out of the area say the clashes between the country’s army and army mutineers have killed some 500 people, mainly soldiers.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war.