May 25, 2021 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is deeply saddened to announce the tragic death of Dr Louis Edward Saleh Ufew, an IRC staff member who was found dead in Panyijiar County, South Sudan, last Friday 21 May, under unclear circumstances.
This is the second attack on our staff in the last two months.The IRC compound in Jamjang County was attacked on 24th April where up to 20 youth entered the perimeter and physically attacked IRC staff, resulting in multiple injuries. One senior medical staff member was seriously injured and was airlifted to hospital in Juba at the time. To date, no arrests related to the Jamjang attack have been made.
Caroline Sekyewa, IRC South Sudan Country Director, said:
“We are deeply disturbed by these attacks and extremely saddened by the loss of our esteemed colleague. Following the horrific and tragic death of Dr Louis, IRC has suspended all its humanitarian operations in Ganyliel Payam with immediate effect because we are very concerned about the safety and well-being of our staff working on projects in the area. Internal assessments, consultations and reviews of the safety and well-being of the staff are currently ongoing.
“Attacks on humanitarian staff constitute a severe breach of International Humanitarian Law. We urge the local authorities to provide a guarantee of staff security so that we can continue to provide life-saving humanitarian services to host and displaced communities in South Sudan”.
For over 30 years, IRC has been one of the largest aid providers in South Sudan, delivering emergency assistance and supporting vulnerable populations in hard-to-reach areas. Our health response includes capacity building in state clinics, training of local health workers, nutrition programmes, and sanitation services. We also provide support to survivors of sexual violence and child protection services. Community leaders and government officials are trained on the importance of upholding human rights. The IRC helps empower people through cash assistance, job and livelihoods training. Learn more about the IRC’s South Sudan response.