The United States strongly condemns the recent reports of targeted and deliberate killings of six humanitarian aid workers in Maban County, Upper Nile State, South Sudan. The people of South Sudan are paying a horrific price for the failure of their leaders to resolve this senseless conflict. We call on all parties to immediately refrain from intimidation of humanitarian workers and the deliberate and ethnically-based targeting of civilians.
The killing of innocent humanitarian workers who risked their lives to provide desperately needed aid at time when 3.9 million South Sudanese are facing emergency food insecurity from a man-made crisis is simply appalling. The Government of South Sudan has a responsibility to protect humanitarian workers, and ensure its forces comply with repeated government commitments to facilitate humanitarian assistance.
In the face of the worsening security and humanitarian situation, it is more urgent than ever that both parties come to the table at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - mediated talks in Addis Ababa ready to engage in multi-stakeholder political negotiations. These talks are critical to resolving the conflict and moving forward on the commitment to form a transitional government as the Government of South Sudan and the opposition agreed to on June 10.