JUBA, South Sudan 

At least three aid workers were killed in intense clashes in South Sudan over the weekend, confirmed the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the country.

Alain Noudehou, the country’s humanitarian coordinator, denounced the deaths of the three humanitarian workers, including a member of the Doctors Without Borders international humanitarian organization, that occurred in the in Eastern areas of the town of Pieri in Jonglei state.

Noudehou also called for an end to recurring acts of violence that he said were disrupting life-saving assistance and the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic in many parts of the country.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the killing of three aid workers in Pieri and call for those responsible to be brought swiftly to justice,” Noudehou said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He called on the government and all parties and communities must “step up efforts to protect humanitarians who are taking great risks to their safety to provide much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable people in South Sudan.”

“Intercommunal clashes and armed conflict are hampering humanitarian efforts to pre-position food, medicine and other aid supplies in the final weeks before the rains become heavier and cut off road access to vulnerable communities,” he added.

“The violence must therefore stop and humanitarians must be able to reach affected communities freely and without fear.”

An attack by armed groups from the neighboring Pibor administrative area on Saturday left 242 people dead and injured another 307, a government official told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

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