UN mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, and World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday condemned an attack on a convoy of 59 trucks carrying WFP food and nutrition assistance in the country.
The convoy came under attack from armed gunmen some 30 kilometers from Gadiang, located some 160 kilometres from Bor in Jonglei State on Monday.
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,’’ UNMISS said in a statement.
“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,” acting Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim for South Sudan, Mr Meshack Malo said.
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,” Malo added.
The number of attacks against humanitarian convoys and assets has been on the rise across South Sudan, reaching 591 in 2021, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Active hostilities, sub-national violence and violence against humanitarian operations have led humanitarian organisations 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.