South Sudan: The humanitarian community condemn attack on humanitarian aid agencies in Maban
04 August 2018

Maban is a remote outpost in the Upper Nile State of South Sudan which is home to more than 140 000 refugees from Sudan and a large number of internally displaced people (Paul Jeffrey)
"JRS South Sudan remains committed to the people in Maban and is willing to resume its activities that benefit refugees, IDPs and host community members. At the same time, JRS needs assurance that humanitarians will not be targeted again and that the rule of law prevails so that our team members can live and serve in a safe and conducive environment." (Pau Vidal SJ)

On Monday 23 July 2018, humanitarian aid agencies operating in Maban, South Sudan, were forced to temporarily suspend their activities and evacuate most of their staff following violent attacks from local youth. In the aftermath of these attacks, the South Sudan NGO Forum has issued a press release condemning “the unacceptable violence against humanitarian actors, including the most recent attack in Maban, as it reduces aid workers’ capacity to implement essential services and activities, leaving the most vulnerable people in South Sudan at greater risk of hunger and disease.”

The statement further indicates that the attacks escalated after “a protest over employment opportunities turned violent. There was forceful entry into UNHCR and 14 other compounds by approximately 2,000 youth that resulted into looting, arson, destruction of vehicles, structures and other humanitarian assets and lifesaving supplies including medicines.”

In the words of Fr. Pau Vidal, SJ, JRS South Sudan Country Director, “the level of destruction and looting which occurred during the attack of 23rd July in Maban is completely unwarranted and appalling. The brutal attack has brought most of our activities to a complete stop. Therefore, we would like to see strong action from the government to fully investigate this incident and bring to account those who perpetrated these violent acts, those who masterminded them and those who had the mandate to protect humanitarian staff and assets but remained inactive. JRS South Sudan remains committed to the people in Maban and is willing to resume its activities that benefit refugees, IDPs and host community members. At the same time, JRS needs assurance that humanitarians will not be targeted again and that the rule of law prevails so that our team members can live and serve in a safe and conducive environment.”

The full statement from the NGO Forum can be found  here. In the aftermath of this incident, calls for improved protection for humanitarian aid workers in South Sudan are being renewed, including from the  Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and the  United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHOA).   







Press Contact Information
Endashaw Debrework SJ
endashaw.debrework@jrs.net
+254 20 3874152