Aid worker killed in South Sudan attack


An IDP encampment within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS compound on January 4, 2014 in the capital Juba. 

Photo credit: AFP

An aid worker was killed in South Sudan when a humanitarian convoy came under fire in the west of the country, the UN said Thursday.

The UN blamed the attack, which happened on Wednesday in Budi, Eastern Equatoria, on "criminals [who] fired at a clearly marked humanitarian vehicle."

"I am shocked by this violent act and send my condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased," Alain Noudehou, the UN's top aid official for South Sudan, said in a statement.

"The roads are a vital connection between humanitarian organisations and communities in need, and we must be able to move safely across the country without fear,” Noudehou added.

Dutch-headquartered NGO Cordaid confirmed that one of its staff members, a reproductive health expert, had died after being shot, while a driver was injured.

"Cordaid condemns the violence that resulted in the death of our colleague in South Sudan," chief executive Kees Zevenbergen said.

South Sudan is one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarians, with nine aid workers killed there last year, according to the UN.

In January, an aid worker with Joint Aid Management (JAM) was shot dead near Bentiu, in the north of the country.

The country is struggling to emerge from a six-year civil war that claimed some 380,000 lives and officially ended with the creation of a government of national unity in February last year.