Middle East

Alarming rise in attacks on South Sudan civilians, UN says

  • In this photo taken Thursday, March 9, 2017, a mother holds her son who is suffering from severe malnutrition as a humanitarian worker weighs him, at a nutrition clinic in the United Nation's Protection of Civilians site in Juba, South Sudan. The United Nations said Saturday, April 8, 2017 that civilians and aid workers in South Sudan have seen an alarming rise in attacks and harassment in the past week as the country faces both civil war and famine, accusing both government and opposition forces. (Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/UNICEF via AP)

    In this photo taken Thursday, March 9, 2017, a mother holds her son who is suffering from severe malnutrition as a humanitarian worker weighs him, at a nutrition clinic in the United Nation's Protection of Civilians site in Juba, South Sudan. The United Nations said Saturday, April 8, 2017 that civilians and aid workers in South Sudan have seen an alarming rise in attacks and harassment in the past week as the country faces both civil war and famine, accusing both government and opposition forces. (Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/UNICEF via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Monday, March 13, 2017, mothers hold their children as they wait to have them screened for malnutrition at a UNICEF-supported Outpatient Therapeutic Program in Aweil, South Sudan. The United Nations said Saturday, April 8, 2017 that civilians and aid workers in South Sudan have seen an alarming rise in attacks and harassment in the past week as the country faces both civil war and famine, accusing both government and opposition forces. (Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/UNICEF via AP)

    In this photo taken Monday, March 13, 2017, mothers hold their children as they wait to have them screened for malnutrition at a UNICEF-supported Outpatient Therapeutic Program in Aweil, South Sudan. The United Nations said Saturday, April 8, 2017 that civilians and aid workers in South Sudan have seen an alarming rise in attacks and harassment in the past week as the country faces both civil war and famine, accusing both government and opposition forces. (Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin/UNICEF via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations says civilians and aid workers in South Sudan have seen an alarming rise in attacks and harassment in the past week as the country faces both civil war and famine.

The top U.N. humanitarian official there, Eugene Owusu, said Saturday that both government and opposition forces in Upper Nile region beat aid workers in separate incidents.

Owusu also calls an attack by government forces on the southern town of Pajok that killed several dozen people "reprehensible."

The U.N. says its peacekeepers repeatedly have been denied access to Pajok by South Sudan's government.