Khartoum — AT least 45 people have been killed while some 60 women and children kidnapped during an ethnic attack in South Sudan. The attack in a village in the central Duk County on Wednesday left six humanitarian workers dead and 19 people injured.
It brings to 92 the number of aid workers killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the December 2013 crisis, including at least 25 killed in 2017.
Staff killed included health workers and a driver who was delivering material for a hospital. The three critically injured staff members have been evacuated to the capital Juba for further treatment.
During the attack, houses were burnt and civilian properties looted and destroyed. There are reports of civilians displaced to the neighbouring villages due to the intercommunal fighting.
Attackers said to be members of the Murle ethnic group allegedly abducted women and children from the Dinka tribe. Alain Noudéhou, the humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan, condemned the attack.
"It is outrageous that civilians and humanitarians providing assistance continue to be targeted. I call on all armed elements to respect civilians and aid workers, wherever they are in the country," Noudéhou said.
The Murle and Dinka communities have been engaged in long-standing inter-ethnic violence, which has operated outside the wider political conflict since 2013.
David Shearer, special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for the country, denounced the violence.
"It is crucial that the national and local authorities support the community leaders and work to bring the perpetrators of all attacks to account," Shearer added.