Monday December 11, 2017

The Republic of South Sudan
South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SSRRA) National Headquarters – Pagak

The Republic of South Sudan
South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SSRRA) - Logo

For Immediate Release

Press Release

PAGAK – Statement from SPLM/A – iO, Executive Director, Humanitarian Affairs and SSRRA, Pagak, South Sudan
24th April 2015

This is in response to the Press Statement issues by Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan on 23rd April 2015 regarding the Freedom of Movement for Aid Workers under the principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality of the non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies.

I take this opportunity to on behalf of SPLM/AiO humanitarian wing, to appreciate and recognize the commitment and support provided by United Nations, Non-Governmental Organizations and humanitarian agencies in South Sudan particularly in the SPLM/AiO territory across the Greater Upper Nile region. The leadership of SPLM/AiO and its Humanitarian wing has been collaborating with all humanitarian Agencies to facilitate and coordinate humanitarian interventions in our territory.

Our main priority is to enhance unhindered and unimpeded humanitarian access, safety and security of emergency affected civilians seeking assistance as well as humanitarian aid, personnel and their property. Up to this end I would like to address our concerns that undermines of our goodwill and collaboration with some Humanitarian agencies.

The motive behind the departure of aid workers in Pagak is a conspiracy from the fault committed by the UNWFP South Sudan in Juba. On 14th April 2015, WFP deployed 14 staff from Juba to Pagak on a Helicopter and among them four national staff were identified as officers from Migration and National Security personnel from Juba Government. Ms. Betty Juru who was one of them confessed that she was indeed a former National Security Officer. This was the

third case which we had countered with WFP Juba. The first case was witnessed in November 2014 and we were able to share the concern with WFP. The second incident we discussed with WFP in February 2015 in Pagak.

The numbers of individuals from National Security employed by WFP have increased and whenever they are deployed in our areas, we detect and allow them to return to Juba without any form of retribution such as detention. We also have evidence that the Enumerators who are at WFP Juba staff are a conglomeration of National Security that are deployed by the Government of Juba to explore their work through humanitarian operation in the SPLM/AiO territory.

We also have reported cases where the WFP staff in Juba Headquarters deliberately reduces the food allocations and/or delaying distribution to many parts of SPLM/AiO. For instance, it takes three to four months for food to arrive in the SPLM/AiO territory while in government controlled areas food is distributed normally and timely.

Through many dialogues that we have initiated, SPLM/AiO have in several occasions informed and expressed our concern to WFP that we have qualified South Sudanese among our population that can do similar work by the very people (from National Security) that are brought from Juba. SSRRA leadership expects all Humanitarian agencies and NGOs to provide equal and fair employment opportunities to all among South Sudanese especially youth (Women and Men) in the SPLM/AiO controlled areas not only to be recipients of relief services. The question of neutrality only comes when we seek for the Rights of civilians in our territory.

Once again I would like to reiterate that The Humanitarian Wing of SPLM/AiO takes cognizance of the work of humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving services to our vulnerable people and the importance of us working together to achieve the common objective. Therefore, the leadership of SPLM/AiO of Humanitarian wing would like to see those NGOs who left Pagak on the 22nd April 2015 to resume their operations. We will continue engaging each other ensure cordial working relationship between SPLM/AiO and Humanitarian workers.

Hon. Gatwech Peter Kulang

Executive Director

South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SSRRA) E: gatwechkulang@ssrra.org

Times Wire Staff
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