Pibor youth give 72 hours ultimatum to leave, UN decries
Pibor youth have given 72 hours ultimatum to 30 members of the humanitarian workers in the area, causing United Nations to decry the decision of the youth, saying it would have negative impact on the delivery of humanitarian services to vulnerable groups in the area.
Matthew Hollingworth, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan said in a statement sent to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that the latest threat against humanitarian organizations in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) would affect delivery of essential services. He called on the authorities and communities to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian personnel.
“I am deeply concerned with the latest threat by youth groups against humanitarians serving the South Sudanese community. We are here to deliver critical assistance to the most vulnerable people, including women, children and the elderly,” said Mr. Hollingworth.
On 04 October, a letter reportedly from a youth group in Pibor was issued, demanding at least 30 humanitarian personnel leave the area within 72 hours. The youth group accused humanitarian personnel from other parts of the country of occupying positions that they say belong to the local community.
“The consequences of these threats will impact the provision of critical services to people, such as urgent food assistance, health and nutrition services and protection support, among others. Without these frontline workers, all of whom are South Sudanese citizens, we cannot reach people with life-saving aid and people’s humanitarian needs will deepen,” continued Hollingworth.
This latest incident of youth interference will impact response operations to more than 100,000 of the most vulnerable people in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area. Since the start of the year, humanitarians have been threatened and attacked by youth in Renk in Upper Nile and Torit in Eastern Equatoria, to name but a few. These attacks led to the suspension of humanitarian activities and the relocation of workers.
“The worrying trend of threats and attacks by youth groups against humanitarians is unacceptable and must stop. I call on all parties, at all levels, to respect, protect and enable humanitarian action. This trend of targeting fellow citizens only works to delay and discourage the public and private development initiatives that we all wish to see working alongside relief efforts in the most vulnerable areas of the country.” Hollingworth