6 aid workers missing in South Sudan following crash

JUBA – A team of six aid workers is missing in South Sudan after clashed broke out between government and opposition soldiers near the North-western town of Raga, on Sunday evening. The government blames the opposition forces, known as IO, who are loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar for the abductions.

“This kind of behaviour is unbecoming,” said government spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, who demanded the release of the air workers.

The missing humanitarian workers come from three organisations, two international groups, HealthNet and Solidarity International, and one local aid group. The director of Solidarity International, Mainul Islam Opu from Bangladesh was the only foreigner among the victims. The rest are from South Sudan.

The opposition group, IO, confirmed that they have four of the aid but said they rescued the aid workers from being used as “human shields” by the government.

“They are currently safe and sound with our forces around Raga and will be handed over to the concerned third party as soon as possible,” said the opposition spokesperson Colonel Lam Paul.  A statement was issued saying that two humanitarian car were burned to the ground.  The fighting between government and opposition soldiers comes while high-level peace talks have started in Ethiopia, which are aimed at bringing peace to the war-torn South Sudan.

95 aid workers have been killed in South Sudan since the start of civil war in 2013.

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