JUBA, South Sudan

Heads of mission of several western countries and the EU have condemned recurring violence against aid workers in South Sudan.

The Heads of Mission of the US, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, and the EU expressed “deep concern” over violence in the country.

Their concern comes following the killing of two aid workers at the end of October.

“We are deeply saddened by the developments in Pibor and Canal/Pigi County where, again, humanitarian aid workers were attacked,” the diplomats said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We strongly condemn these attacks, which continue to make South Sudan one of the most dangerous places in the world for humanitarians,” the diplomats said.

“If humanitarian organizations cannot guarantee the safety of their staff, lifesaving programs need to be suspended. Attacks against humanitarian workers are a violation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as well as of international humanitarian law,” they said.

“The violence against humanitarian actors must stop and perpetrators must be held accountable for their crimes. Humanitarian aid workers need to be able to deliver services without interference and fear of violence. They should never be a target.”

At present, according to the statement, 7.5 million South Sudanese people need humanitarian assistance.

A total of 124 aid workers, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives in the line of duty since the conflict broke out in the country in late 2013.

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