"Deeply shocked and condemn this act of violence”
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation expresses shock and sympathy at the killings of seven peace workers in Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan on 29 April. The South Sudanese delegates to a peace conference were traveling with Norwegian Church Aid when the attack happened.
“We are deeply shocked and condemn this act of violence,” says LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr. Anne Burghardt. “Our prayers are with the families of the victims, and with the aid workers who witnessed this attack.”
“No excuse for this attack”
According to the South Sudanese Ministry of Information, the seven were killed on Saturday in Imehejek in Eastern Equatoria State after attending a peace conference and being offered a ride in NCA cars. They went to diffuse tensions between two communities over cattle raids, a frequent reason for local conflicts in the country. Three NCA employees, also from South Sudan, escaped unharmed, NCA said. The attack is still under investigation.
There is no excuse for attacking those who seek to resolve conflicts or deliver life-saving aid.
Rev. Dr. Anne BURGHARDT, LWF General Secretary
The LWF General Secretary strongly emphasized the need to respect humanitarian space. “We have been working in South Sudan for 50 years under some of the most challenging circumstances. The neutrality and integrity of humanitarian work needs to be respected. There is no excuse for attacking those who seek to resolve conflicts or deliver life-saving aid.”
Shared commitment in South Sudan
NCA is a longstanding partner of the LWF in several countries. LWF and NCA share a compound in Juba, and work in the Eastern Equatoria State. “Both organizations share the commitment for the protection and assistance of all persons in need as well as the peace of South Sudan”, says Lokiru Yohana, LWF Regional Program Coordinator for South Sudan and Uganda. “This attack on community peace promoters in the presence of aid workers affects all of us.”