Protesters loot aid agencies in S Sudan: UN


JUBA: Angry protesters on Monday forcefully entered and looted around 10 humanitarian agency compounds in conflict-torn South Sudan, said the UN refugee agency UNHCR which reported two staff members were injured.

“The demonstrators forcefully entered UNHCR’s compound and looted its offices and residence,” the organisation said, adding local residents were demanding job opportunities and accused humanitarian organisations of hiring from outside the north-western Maban county.

“Ten other humanitarian agencies’ compounds as well as the office of the Commission for Refugee Affairs (CRA) have been attacked and looted.”

UNHCR condemned the attack “in which two UN staff were injured”.

“This is an act of senseless violence towards humanitarians and deeply regrettable,” said UNHCR’s officer in charge in South Sudan Vincent Kwesi Parker.

Aid workers have frequently been targeted during South Sudan’s four-year-long civil war, with 100 killed since the outbreak of fighting in December 2013, according to the UN.

The country has seen numerous peace efforts fail, and hopes are now pinned on a new process begun in June which saw bitter foes President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar — his former vice president — sign the latest ceasefire deal.

The warring groups then agreed on a power-sharing deal during a round of talks in Kampala on July 7 that essentially saw Machar reinstated to his previous position of vice president.

However plans to sign a preliminary power-sharing deal last week were postponed due to ongoing differences on the draft.