19 April 2017

South Sudan: Agencies Withdraw Staff From South Sudan's Upper Nile

Several humanitarian agencies operating in South Sudan's troubled Upper Nile have started withdrawing their staff.

The agencies were pulling workers out from Waat, Walgak and Akobo in Jonglie State, citing safety concerns as tensions rise between rebels and government forces, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Juba.

OCHA said in weekly brief that over 60 aid workers were moved last week from several locations in Upper Nile, due to intensified conflict.

The killing

The decision comes a few days after the killing of three aid workers in the western Wau Town last week.

The killing brought the number of aid workers who have lost their lives in South Sudan to at least 82 since 2013.

South Sudan's Undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs Gatwech Peter Kulang, confirmed the relocation of the aid workers from the rebel stronghold.

Warring factions

He said the agencies were not taking chances since the employees often fall victims in the event of fighting between the South Sudan warring factions.

As the redeployment and withdrawal of aid workers continues, the humanitarian needs continues to rise across the war-torn country.

Upper Nile is the stronghold of rebel leader Riek Machar, who fell out with President Salva Kiir.

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