During the third quarter of 2021, 174 humanitarian access incidents were reported, 56 per cent of which were violence and threats against humanitarian personnel and assets. Over a quarter of the incidents reported occurred in Central Equatoria. Twenty-nine NGO staff were detained for various reasons, including new visa requirements and outstanding court procedures against former staff.
Insecurity forced the relocation of 80 aid workers from Ayod and New Fangak counties in Jonglei State, Nagero and Tambura in Western Equatoria State, and the Greater Pibor Administrative Area.
Looting of supplies significantly impacted humanitarians’ ability to respond efficiently to people in need. On 8 July, 230 metric tons of assorted critical food items for people in highly food-insecure areas were looted from a UN warehouse in Tonj North, Warrap State. On 15 July, 70 metric tons of food commodities were looted in a roadside attack in Abienhom, Unity. On 21 August, 12.5 metric tons of food supplies were looted in Baggari, Western Bahr el Ghazal.
Youth disrupted humanitarian action in Torit, Renk, Koch, Ulang, Kapoeta and Bentiu in 30 reported incidents. This increasing trend of youth demands, aggression, and at times violence has significant impact on humanitarian space and the ability to operate in an unimpeded manner.
A notable decrease in roadside attacks against humanitarian convoys during the third quarter could be attributed to the limited movement by humanitarians due to heavy rains and floods. Ten ambushes took place in Lafon and Budi in Eastern Equatoria and Yei County. Bureaucratic impediments by the local authorities, ranging from operational interference and illegal taxation, in Panyijiar, Leer and Walgak, have increased.
Humanitarian activities were significantly impacted in Tonga, Atar, Diel and Canal, Tambura, Koch and Mayendit due to insecurity resulting from sub-national violence. Riverine movement along Malakal and Adok port has been challenging, while movements from Malakal to other field locations were suspended, affecting prepositioning and response.
Ongoing sub-national violence in Tambura, Western Equatoria, which displaced more than 80,000 people since June, continues to impact humanitarian operations. In addition to the violence, there were access violations including looting and destruction of humanitarian assets and supplies.
Poor road conditions compounded by heavy rain and floods led to access challenges and slowed the response to the flooded-affected communities in Ayod, Fangak and Canal in Jonglei State.