South Sudan’s government has released a UN aid worker after detaining him for nearly a month, a top UN official has said.
The aid worker, Peter Alex, was South Sudanese and a Nairobi-based spokeswoman for the World Food Programme.
Other aid workers have been detained since civil war broke out in 2013 in South Sudan, which is increasingly split along ethnic lines, and at least 82 have been killed, including six in a single ambush in April.
In February, the UN declared parts of the country were suffering from famine, the world’s first in six years.
On Wednesday the government announced it was hiking annual registration fees for international charities from $600 to 3,500 dollars.
“We are relieved to learn that Alex, a World Food Programme aid worker detained by the Government of South Sudan since April 10, has finally been released and reunited with his family,” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN said.
Haley said in unfortunately, this is not a unique incident in South Sudan, the most dangerous country in the world today for aid workers.
The U. S. has accused 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.
The Government of South Sudan must stop obstructing humanitarian assistance and ensure the safety and security of all humanitarian aid workers,” said Harley.