South Sudan releases UN aid worker


South Sudan’s government released a United Nations aid worker after detaining him for nearly a month, a top UN official said.

Other aid workers have been detained since civil war broke out in 2013 in South Sudan and at least 82 have been killed, including six in a single ambush last month.

In February, the UN declared parts of the country were suffering from famine, the world’s first in six years. This week the government announced it was hiking annual registration fees for international charities from $600 to $3,500.
“We are relieved to learn that Peter Alex, a World Food Programme (WFP) aid worker detained by the government of South Sudan since April 10, has been released and reunited with his family,” Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, said.
“Unfortunately, this is not a unique incident in South Sudan, the most dangerous country in the world today for aid workers,” the statement from Haley said.

The US accuses South Sudanese President Salva Kiir of contributing to the famine and called on all sides to stop fighting.
“The warring parties in South Sudan must stop the ongoing violence,” Haley said. “The government of South Sudan must stop obstructing humanitarian assistance and ensure the safety and security of all humanitarian aid workers.”

Alex was South Sudanese, a Nairobi-based spokeswoman for WFP said.