IOM Joins Humanitarian Organizations in South Sudan in Condemning Violence Against Civilians

14 Apr 2014
  • Mr. William Lacy Swing | Director General of The International Organization for Migration

Together with its humanitarian partners, IOM has condemned in strongest terms a series of deadly attacks on civilians in South Sudan in recent days.

“The deliberate targeted and heinous killing of civilians in hospitals, places of worship and UN compounds, where they have sought sanctuary, is ...particularly outrageous and needs to end,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

In a particularly shocking incident this week, some 350 youth in civilian clothes approached the United Nations base at Bor in Jonglei state, where thousands of vulnerable people have taken refuge. Toby Lanzer, the UN Assistant Secretary General and the senior aid official in the country, has described how the youth, who were ostensibly there to present a petition, instead forced open the gate to the base and started shooting indiscriminately, killing dozens.

“It was totally unprovoked and I think that meting out violence on a group of civilians who are sheltering and seeking protection from the United Nations is not only cowardly it is abominable," Lanzer told the media.

"IOM will continue to stand by, supporting and aiding vulnerable civilians seeking safety and working with humanitarian partners," Swing added.

IOM has joined country representatives of United Nations agencies, key non-governmental organizations and donors in South Sudan pledging to continue to stand with all civilians in South Sudan, whoever they are – in particular with the children, women and elderly people who bear the brunt of this conflict.

Humanitarian organizations have deployed emergency surgical teams to Bentiu and Bor, boosting the health response to the recent violence. Aid workers also continue to provide food, shelter, water, protection and other essential services, including to civilians sheltering inside UN peacekeeping bases. Across the country, aid agencies aim to provide life-saving assistance to 3.2 million people, who face increasingly difficult conditions, by June 2014.

IOM is active in South Sudan ensuring the effective and targeted delivery of life-saving services to vulnerable people in displacement sites and helping ensure that basic humanitarian need are provided in a situation that remains unstable and highly volatile.