UN agency condemns attack on relief convoy in South Sudan

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JUBA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian agency on Wednesday strongly condemned the latest attack on a relief convoy in South Sudan's Yei, Central Equatoria state, an area that has been ravaged by attacks on civilian vehicles in the past.

Matthew Hollingworth, acting UN humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan called on authorities and communities to ensure the safety of humanitarian personnel as they deliver life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people in the country.

"I am appalled by the horrific news of yet another act of violence against humanitarians and people serving the community in South Sudan. I want to express our condolences to the family and colleagues of the driver who was killed in Yei County on Friday," Hollingworth said in a statement issued in Juba.

He said on Sept. 17, a convoy of a WFP cooperating partner, consisting of seven people in three trucks, was attacked in Mugwo Payam, Yei County.

The convoy was traveling from Yei to Morobo and carrying 121 metric tons of food supplies destined for livelihoods programming in support of host communities in Morobo County.

The driver of one of the trucks, a South Sudanese citizen, was killed when the unknown gunmen opened fire on the convoy. One person was injured, two were found unharmed and three others are currently missing.

Hollingworth said humanitarian personnel worked tirelessly to deliver assistance to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan, including women, children and the elderly.

"Attacking them as they carry out their work is unacceptable and has to stop. I call on all parties to respect, protect and enable those organizations and personnel working to provide humanitarian assistance to the citizens of South Sudan," he said.

According to the UN, humanitarian access remains challenging across South Sudan with a spike of violence against humanitarian personnel and assets reported this year.

Since March, aid workers, people serving the community, and assets have been ambushed or attacked in at least eight of the ten states in the country. The attacks led to the suspension of humanitarian activities and the relocation of workers. Enditem

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