Khartoum — RESIDENTS have attacked aid workers and facilities as protests against economic problems in war-torn South Sudan turned violent this week.
Initially peaceful, protesters were demonstrating against a lack of employment opportunities but quickly became violent, in the process attacking, looting and burning humanitarian premises and vehicles in the city of Bunj, Maban County, in northeastern Upper Nile region.
Adnan Khan, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, condemned the attacks. The envoy urged all involved to immediately cease the violence.
"Aid workers, regardless of where they are from, sacrifice their time and all too often their safety to save people affected by the South Sudan crisis," Khan said.
"They are free to work in any part of the country in line with the law of the land," he added.
The humanitarian coordinator called on authorities to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers in areas under their control across the country and to work to prevent future threats against them.
Thousands of humanitarians provide aid to millions of people in South Sudan affected by war, hunger and disease.
The world's newest country after attaining independence from Sudan in 2011, it is one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.
Since a civil war in 2013, an estimated 4,5 million South Sudanese have fled their homes due to conflict. Over 2,6 million refugees are spread across neighbouring countries.