Five staff members of relief organization Relief International were assaulted and injured during the weekend in an attack by gunmen on their premises in north-eastern South Sudan, the NGO said on Monday.
« Several armed men, equipped with assault rifles, pistols and knives » broke into an NGO office in the Upper Nile region on Sunday, Relief International said in a statement.
« During this attack, five of our staff members were assaulted and sustained injuries. We put our team in safety and they receive all the appropriate care, « Nancy Wilson, the organization’s CEO, said in the statement.
« They suffered a senseless act of violence during their mission to provide vital care to refugees, » she said.
The Humanitarian Coordinator of the UN in South Sudan, Alain Noudehou, condemned the attack, committed by him in the city of Bunj by men in uniform, and called in a statement that « the perpetrators are brought immediately in court « .
At least 115 humanitarian workers killed since 2013
At least 115 aid workers, mostly South Sudanese, have been killed in the country since it sank into civil war in December 2013, two years after its independence from Sudan.
The conflict, marked by atrocities and the use of rape as a weapon of war, killed more than 380,000 people dead and forced more than four million southern Sudanese, or nearly one third of the population, from their homes.
A peace agreement reached in September 2018 resulted in a sharp decline in fighting, but the formation of a national unity government under the agreement was postponed several times.