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This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for increased protection for aid workers in South Sudan after this weekend’s targeting of an international relief agency by armed men. The devastating attack happened during the early morning of Sunday December 01, when armed men broke into an NGO compound in Bunj town in Upper Nile’s Maban County, severely assaulted staff and took their belongings. UNHCR strongly condemns this senseless act against aid workers who were there to improve the lives of refugees and vulnerable South Sudanese nationals. The past few months have seen an increase in attacks on aid workers in the country. Sunday’s violence happened only a month after three United Nations staff working in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria Region were killed. The world’s youngest country has remained among the world’s most violent places to deliver aid. Ensuring the safety and security of aid workers in South Sudan has now become a major challenge. This continuously hampers humanitarian action for some of the world’s most desperate people. UNHCR calls for enhanced respect for international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and humanitarian workers from violence and to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice immediately.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

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