In May 2018, the impact of humanitarian access challenges on aid operations was substantial, with three aid workers killed, 19 others detained, and incidents involving looting of humanitarian assets, as well as interference in operations in multiple locations across the country. Fifty-eight incidents were reported compared with 80 in April.
Continued deterioration of the security situation in Unity related to the sustained surge in armed clashes forced widespread suspension of aid operations in May, with curtailed access reducing delivery to a minimum. Interventions remain highly sensitive due to related protection concerns. The killing of three aid workers in Leer and Panyijiar counties, also in Unity, is indicative of a particularly dangerous operating environment in the area. The hostility of the environment has intensified not only in Unity but Western Equatoria, where aid workers were detained for days by SPLA-iO forces while carrying out humanitarian work, resulting in disruption of aid operations in both areas.
Interference in humanitarian operations and restriction of movement by the National Security Service (NSS) continued to hamper humanitarian work, especially in areas outside Wau town. The NSS introduced additional requirements for humanitarian movement within and outside of Wau, including to Bazia in Wau County and Tonj in Warrap, which delayed humanitarian operations. During the month, the SPLA-iO authorities continued to exert pressure on aid agencies, including demands to pay personal income tax, accreditation fees and attempts to influence recruitment processes in Fangak, Jonglei. The authorities in Malakal (Upper Nile) and Wau (Western Bahr el Ghazal) also continued to pressure aid agencies in attempts to influence recruitment processes. In Nagero (Western Equatoria), a clinic operated by humanitarian partners was looted by armed men, forcing the suspension of health response to hundreds of people. In Bentiu, the community leadership in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site forced the closure of a number of clinics operated by humanitarian partners, affecting access to healthcare of several thousands of people.