Looting of civilian property and humanitarian supplies in Jonglei is unacceptable
KHARTOUM, Sudan, May 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- "I am alarmed by reports that, once again, the civilian population of Jonglei State's Pibor town have fled for their safety in large numbers. I am also gravely concerned about the widespread looting of civilian property and humanitarian supplies witnessed by aid workers over recent days.
Aid organizations have seen armed, uniformed personnel taking apart homes and breaking into small shops where those who have fled the town have placed their belongings for safekeeping.
Food and household items, including nutritional supplements for malnourished children, were stolen from humanitarian common storage facilities, just a few hundred meters away from the town's military barracks and county commissioner's offices. We have been told by some of our NGO colleagues that their compounds were completely looted, and that everything inside - even fixtures like solar panels – have been taken.
I condemn the looting of civilian property and humanitarian supplies. I call on the authorities to move swiftly and hold those responsible to account. These types of attacks against humanitarian facilities make it harder to provide life-saving assistance to people affected by hostilities in Jonglei.
Aid organizations have already been forced to relocate all of their staff from Boma due to insecurity, and only a handful of aid workers now remain in Pibor. The humanitarian community stands ready to provide neutral and impartial assistance to all civilians in need. This can only happen if all parties respect and facilitate humanitarian activities, in line with their obligations under national and international law.