Aid convoy attacked in South Sudan

2026

Gunmen attacked an aid convoy in famine-hit South Sudan, killing two people and wounding three, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

The attack underscored the dangers confronting aid agencies in the world’s youngest country at a time nearly half its population, or about 5.5 million people, face food shortages. The United Nations has already declared a famine in some parts.

South Sudan has been mired in a conflict that has split the nation along ethnic lines and forced more than three million people to flee their homes. Aid workers have been kidnapped, shot at and had supplies looted by armed men.

The attack occurred earlier this week near Yirol, in the centre of the country about 210 km north-west of Juba, where aid workers have been dealing with a cholera outbreak.

In a statement, IOM said the convoy was targeted as it returned to Yirol, with gunmen ambushing one vehicle. Two people died of gunshot wounds, the aid group said, and an IOM health officer was among the wounded.

The identity and motivation of the attackers were unknown, the statement said.

Also on Thursday, medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said its hospital in Wau Shilluk had been looted during recent heavy fighting.
“Wau Shilluk was looted of all medicines including life-saving drugs and essential supplies,” Abdalla Hussein Abdalla, the deputy head of mission for South Sudan, said in a statement. “Our hospital is in a terrible condition.”

Earlier this week, gunmen briefly detained eight local employees of US charity Samaritan’s Purse.

The civil war erupted in 2013 when President Salva Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, fired his deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer.

Machar’s rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (In Opposition), on Thursday criticised a new rebel faction led by an army general who resigned earlier this year.

A statement allegedly released by the new rebel faction said Machar’s forces in the Equatoria region, near the Ugandan frontier, had pledged loyalty to former General Thomas Cirillo Swaka.
“The SPLA IO is totally amazed and at the same time disapproves the claim of Thomas Cirillo that its forces in Equatoria region have pledged loyalty to him and his new faction,” the statement said.
“We urge General Thomas to reconsider his strategy and not play into the hands of Salva Kiir’s allies in the region, whose intention is to divide the opposition.”