South Sudan Denies Accusations Of Harassing Aid Workers

Government spokesperson Dr. Barnaba Marial addressing the press in Juba. [Waakhe Simon Wudu]

“I can assure you we as government have not received this information from the aid agencies and our position is it is not true as far as we are concerned,” Dr. Barnaba Marial, South Sudan government Spokesperson said yesterday in response to the accusations.

“If there are such incidents happening they [aid agencies] should come and inform the government which is responsible. We have not received this information from the aid agencies. So this report is sort of a place may be it is not South Sudan,” Marial said.

Reuters agency on Tuesday reported that Aid agencies working in South Sudan, one of the poorest countries in the world, are under regular threat from members of the security services who beat or arrest them or commandeer their equipment according to the United Nations.

South Sudan has been struggling to reform its bloated security services since it split from Sudan in 2011 after a long civil war that has left it awash with weapons.

Human rights groups regularly accuse South Sudan’s army, an assortment of poorly-trained former guerrilla fighters known as the SPLA, of abuses against civilians.

Vincent Lelei, country head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the number of incidents hampering the work of aid agencies had jumped almost 50 percent last year.

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