6 aid workers killed in South Sudan

Six aid workers were killed in an ambush in South Sudan on Saturday, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the country said.

The aid workers were traveling from Juba to Pibor, coordinator Eugene Owusu said.

“I am appalled and outraged by the heinous murder yesterday of six courageous humanitarians in South Sudan,” Owusu said Sunday.

“These attacks against aid workers and aid assets are utterly reprehensible,” said Mr. Owusu. “They not only put the lives of aid workers at risk, they also threaten the lives of thousands of South Sudanese who rely on our assistance for their survival.

He said the ambush comes at a time when humanitarian needs have reached an unprecedented level in the troubled country.

About 5 million people are suffering from famine in South Sudan, and about 100,000 are on the brink of starvation.

The six slain aid workers represent the highest number of aid workers killed in a single incident since the South Sudan conflict began, according to a statement released by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The agency said at least 79 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan since its civil war began in December 2013.

At least 12 have been killed so far in 2017.