Operational and bureaucratic access issues were predominant in May, accounting for 46 per cent of all incidents reported. Five ambushes were reported, down from the April number of 11, but demonstrating the continuing challenge of road insecurity; two resulted in staff injuries. Armed robberies along Torit-Kapoeta and Torit-Juba roads persisted. Increasing insecurity along various roads in Lakes resulted in a temporary elevation of security alert status on roads leading west, north and east out of Rumbek. Insecurity in some areas out of Yei continued to delay missions.
The revised incentive rates for health workers across the country led to the closure of multiple health and nutrition centres, affecting thousands of people in need. This had a negative impact on the safety of humanitarian staff and facilities, including threats and confiscation of supplies. Reports of harassment by police and immigration authorities increased, particularly in Juba and its international airport, with the officials looking for alien registration papers and work permits. Multiple staff were detained. New airport access fees were implemented in Juba and Malakal. This greatly affected humanitarian movement. Recruitment issues continued, with some local authorities challenging the implementation of the NGO recruitment guidelines, which were published by the Ministry of Labour in March 2019.
Joint sensitization work is ongoing to support rollout and adoption. Operational interference in the Bentiu Protection of Civilians site continued, with blockages to food distributions and physical assaults against Equatorian staff.