30 April 2018

South Sudan: Rebels Release Aid Workers

Photo: Jacob Zocherman/IRIN
South Sudanese civilians wait to collect their rations at a United Nations facility in the conflict-ridden country.

A South Sudan armed group has set free 10 aid workers who went missing last week in Yei River State.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed on Monday that the 10 had been airlifted to Juba.

The ICRC said in a short statement that it welcomed the gesture and urged the South Sudan parties to stop aggression against humanitarian workers.

"We are pleased that these 10 aid workers can now return to Juba to their families.

"We want to remind all parties to the conflict that aid workers are never a target," ICRC head of delegation Francos Stamm said.

KIDNAPPED

The aid workers went missing while on a mission to provide humanitarian aid to the residents of Yei.

The UN relief coordinator, Mr Alain Noudehou, said the humanitarian community was shocked by the kidnapping of the aid workers.

Those kidnapped included one staff from Unicef, one from the South Sudan Developmental Organisation (SSDO), three from Plan International and one from Action Africa Help (AAH).

HUMANITARIAN LAW

Mr Noudehou urged the parties to the conflict to observe international humanitarian law.

"I firmly condemn the latest attack against colleagues engaged in emergency humanitarian assistance in central Equatoria and call on all parties to the conflict in South Sudan to ensure a safe and secure environment, conducive to the delivery of assistance," he said.

Their kidnap was the second affecting aid workers in Yei River State in the recent times.

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