Fifty-one humanitarian access incidents were reported in February, compared to thirty-five in January. Over half (55 per cent) occurred in Central Equatoria and Jonglei, with Akobo, Juba, Rumbek Centre and Yei Counties accounting for 43 per cent of all incidents. Seven incidents were significant in severity, including staff detentions, the denial of an Ebola Virus Disease screening mission, looting of health facilities, and road ambushes. Fifty-seven per cent of all incidents involved violence against humanitarian personnel and assets, including four staff detained in Aweil, Juba, Lainya and Pariang. Half of all operational interference incidents involved interference in recruitment by both State and non-State authorities in Akobo, Baliet, Wau and Yei. Sixty-three per cent of reported bureaucratic impediments involved illegal taxation or bribery in Fangak, Juba, Wau and Yei. State security forces were responsible for 41 per cent of all incidents, half of which involved harassment or extortion.
Humanitarian access outside of Yei town remained constrained. An Ebola Virus Disease screening mission to Lasu in Otogo County was denied access by State security forces at the start of the month. Partners completed missions to Lainya, Lasu, Morobo and Tokori with UNMISS force protection. Three health facilities were vandalized and looted by State security forces in Mukaya in Lainya, leaving them dysfunctional. Medicines meant for a health centre in Baliet County were confiscated while in transit by authorities in Nagdiar, impacting health services for two weeks while the medicines were held. Despite improved access in many parts of Western Equatoria since October 2018 – with humanitarian organizations visiting Ezo, Mabia, Nagero, Namutina, Source Yubu, Tambura and Yangiri without force protection for the first time since 2016 – insecurity forced the suspension of a mission to Maridi and Greater Mundri. Access by road opened up from Bentiu to Koch, Leer and Mayendit, and a humanitarian mission was completed to the area. Security restrictions to Pagak were lifted, which enabled the resumption of humanitarian fights to Pagak and Maiwut for the first time since July 2017. Operational tensions with the affected community continued in the Malakal Protection of Civilians site. These were related to biometric registration, food rations and demolition of illegal structures. Violent incidents affected humanitarian workers in the site. Multiple instances of interference and harassment of aid workers were reported at Rumbek airstrip, with local State authorities requesting illegal fees and harassing passengers for non-payment.