South Sudanese rebel group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by former Vice President Riek Machar has accused government forces of killing six aid workers on Saturday.
Spokesperson for the military wing Paul Gabriel Lam told local media Sudan Tribune that the attack was unfortunate and an independent investigation should be launched into the incident.
“We are aware that the area where this barbaric incident took place is under the control of Juba regime and its militias. The SPLA -IO calls for an independent investigation into this act of terrorism and cowardice towards the innocent hard working aid workers in the country,” he said.
The United Nations said on Sunday that the six aid workers were killed in an ambush while traveling from the capital Juba to the town of Pibor without giving other details.
We are aware that the area where this barbaric incident took place is under the control of Juba regime and its militias.
The U.N. humanitarian coordinator for South Sudan Eugene Owusu said in a statement that he is “appalled and outraged by the heinous murder yesterday of the six courageous humanitarians.”
“I implore all those in positions of power to step up to their responsibilities and stop this, as they are ultimately accountable for what happens under their watch. There is no safety when attacks are met with silence and inaction,” he added.
At least 79 aid workers have been killed since the country’s civil war began in December 2013. This year, at least 12 have died and at least eight humanitarian convoys have been attacked.