JUBA, South Sudan – The death toll of an attack on aid workers in South Sudan has risen to seven, with the news that the driver also died.
David Kim Choop was driving the vehicle when he and six aid workers were ambushed and killed on Saturday, March 25th.
The four South Sudanese and three Kenyans worked for a local NGO called GRADO (Grass Roots Empowerment for Development Organization) and were attacked while on a routine food convoy from Juba, the capital, to Pibor.
The ambush caused the highest number of aid workers killed in a single incident since South Sudan’s civil war began in 2013. At least 12 aid workers have been killed so far this year and at least 79 killed since 2013, according to the U.N.
“We are extremely saddened by this undeserved event,” said Pius Ojara, director of the NGO Forum in South Sudan. “These are people who were here to serve the population.” Ojara said police are investigating to find out who killed the aid workers.
Grieving families gathered Monday outside the morgue in Juba to collect and bury their dead.
“This is very painful for all of us,” said Levis Kori. Kori’s 30-year-old brother John Riti, was killed in the attack.
“We’re not enemies,” said Kori. “They were humanitarians there to do good. They’re not soldiers they have no guns.”