from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – SOME aid workers have been injured in northern South Sudan after rampaging youths protesting against the hiring of workers from outside the region.
An unspecified number of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) humanitarian personnel were brutalised after the youths, numbering around 20, attacked the IRC compound in Jimjams County in Ruweng administrative area.
One senior medical staff member has been seriously injured and airlifted to hospital in the capital, Juba.
Others suffered multiple injuries.
“We are deeply disturbed by these attacks,” Caroline Sekyewa, IRC South Sudan director, said.
Thus far, the perpetrators had not been caught.
“We urge the local authorities to provide a guarantee of staff security so that we can continue to provide life-saving humanitarian services to host and displaced communities in South Sudan,” Sekyewa said.
Mongolian peacekeepers, part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), have intervened to protect humanitarian workers.
Demonstrations began last Saturday.
UNMISS stated that over the past few years, it had been engaging with authorities in many parts of the country, to deal with increasing demands from local populations that agencies should only hire workers from particular ethnic backgrounds.
“UN acknowledges the serious youth unemployment problem in the country due to the dire economic situation and fully supports recruitment practices that are based on competence, professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity,” Francesca Mold, UNMISS spokesperson.
South Sudan’s civil war between 2013 and 2020 had an ethnic dimension.
– CAJ News