South Sudan aid doctor killed ‘in cold blood’ amid rising attacks

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A South Sudanese doctor was murdered in the northern, oil-rich Unity state, and colleagues threatened Sunday to go on strike if those responsible are not found.

The murder, which took place Friday, follows the killing of a nurse in April in Eastern Equatoria, a south-eastern state.

On Sunday, a statement released by The South Sudan Doctors’ Union (SSDU), said it was “deeply saddened on the killing of our member, Dr. Louis Edward Saleh in Ganyiel village in Unity State.”

South Sudan is one of the most dangerous countries for humanitarians, with nine aid workers killed there last year, according to the UN.

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In January, an aid worker with Joint Aid Management (JAM) was shot dead near Bentiu, which is also in Unity state.

The SSDU said Saleh was working at a clinic sponsored by the International Rescue Committee charity, and was “was killed in cold blood within the facility.”

The IRC did not immediately respond to the report but the regional health ministry said an investigation had been launched.

The SSDU expressed alarm at a series of alleged threats, beatings, arrests, detentions, tortures and killings in several states in recent months.

In mid-May, a humanitarian worker died when an aid convoy came under fire in the west of the country, according to the UN.

The SSDU threatened a strike if investigations are not carried out and those responsible for killing Saleh and the nurse are not found and prosecuted.

South Sudan is struggling to emerge from a six-year civil war that claimed some 380,000 lives and officially ended with the creation of a government of national unity in February last year.

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