The United Nations said Tuesday that a second aid worker had been murdered in South Sudan this week in a vast and isolated region scarred by armed violence and lawlessness.
The fatal shooting on October 30 brings the number of aid personnel killed this year in South Sudan to nine, the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA said, triple the death toll of 2019.
“I am appalled by these repeated acts of violence against humanitarians,” said Alain Noudehou, the coordinator in South Sudan, in a statement. “The violence and the impunity must stop.”
The staffer was working for Nile Hope, a South Sudanese non-governmental organization, in Jonglei state, an eastern region plagued by gun violence and inter-ethnic conflict.
He was traveling between the organization’s base and a field office providing nutritional aid to malnourished children and new mothers when he was killed by “armed youth,” the statement said.
A colleague escaped with minor injuries.
The killing came a day after a team from Plan International, a British-headquartered charity, were ambushed on a road outside Pibor town in a neighboring state.
We're shocked & saddened by the killing of one of our humanitarian aid workers in South Sudan. https://t.co/GyWexEglhg
— Plan International (@PlanGlobal) November 3, 2020
One staff member was shot dead on the spot and another suffered a serious gunshot wound in the October 29 attack.
Both deceased humanitarian workers were South Sudanese.
“South Sudanese aid workers are enduring difficult conditions to deliver lifesaving assistance to their fellow citizens and should be protected,” said Noudehou.
South Sudan achieved statehood in 2011 after a decades-long war of independence from Sudan, its larger, Muslim-majority neighbor to the north.
But the fighting turned inward in 2013 and South Sudan was engulfed in a civil war that left nearly 400,000 people dead.
A ceasefire largely paused the bloodshed in September 2018, and a unity government took power in Juba earlier this year, but the country is still wracked by conflict and lawlessness.
South Sudan is often described as the most dangerous place in the world to be an aid worker. OCHA says 124 aid workers, mostly South Sudanese, have been killed there since 2013.