News / Africa

Broken Bodies, but Still Bloodlust, in South Sudan Hospital

Wounded fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group, most of whom suffered gunshot wounds from recent fighting with Murle in Jonglei state, recover at a hospital in the state capital Bor where the atmosphere is more boastful and vengeful than sombre.
Wounded fighters from the Lou Nuer ethnic group, most of whom suffered gunshot wounds from recent fighting with Murle in Jonglei state, recover at a hospital in the state capital Bor where the atmosphere is more boastful and vengeful than sombre.
Hannah McNeish
Violence between two ethnic groups in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has raged for over a week, leaving hundreds wounded, many with gunshot wounds. Aid agencies fear that countless others are wounded or lost in the bush as fighting continues and civilians flee attackers.

Both of the surgical wards at Bor hospital are packed, and dozens of men and boys have flopped onto mattresses wedged between supplies in a store room, nursing gunshot wounds.

​16-year-old Dut Kuoth marched with many other Lou Nuer from northern Jonglei to Pibor county to mete out their revenge on their rivals, the Murle. The groups have been caught in a worrying cycle of ethnic violence that claimed at least 1,000 lives last year.

In the last major flareup of violence, in January 2012, some 8,000 Lou Nuer and others descended on Murle villages, looting cattle, attacking women and children, massacring and burning.

Hundreds, or even thousands died, and hundreds more in northern Jonglei in a spate of smaller revenge attacks.

But the blood debt has not been paid, and a recent disarmament campaign marred by abuses by government security forces has now pushed many of the Murle into the arms of rebel leader David Yau Yau.

Kuoth says that deadly attacks by Yau Yau prompted men in his Lou Nuer village and many others to come south and release their grief through centuries-old violence made increasingly deadly by modern weaponry.

Dot Kuoth says they are fighting forces under the control of Yau Yau now.  He says the Lou Nuer have captured Yau Yau's military base and his heavy weapons. But Dot Kuoth says he was injured by a rocket propelled grenade.

On Tuesday, scores of wounded Lou Nuer hobbled or were carried off army helicopters at Bor airport, and the aircraft quickly took off again to go and pick up more.

But thousands more fighters are said to be weaving their way south, and to date there have been no Murle casualties arriving at Bor, with some at the state hospital saying that they would be not be welcome there.

Some 13,000 Murle have fled to South Sudan's capital, Juba, and others have sought refugee status in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia.

But many fled into the bush with nothing months ago, as government forces waged war with Yau Yau’s militiamen and also looted medical facilities, shops and United Nations food stores in Pibor town.

Roland Kaya, who is running operations in Bor for the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, says the group expects more injured to come in and fears for those they can’t reach.

“Currently we can say all medical agencies are working with the Ministry of Health and are concerned about this and are trying to find a way to reach them, but we cannot say how we are going to reach them," he said. "At least we are taking care of the ones who are coming in the hospital.”

A wounded man recovers in Bor hospital, capital of South Sudan'sJonglei state, where over 100 people are being treated for gunshot wounds after violence between two ethnic groups flared, July 16, 2013.A wounded man recovers in Bor hospital, capital of South Sudan'sJonglei state, where over 100 people are being treated for gunshot wounds after violence between two ethnic groups flared, July 16, 2013.
x
A wounded man recovers in Bor hospital, capital of South Sudan'sJonglei state, where over 100 people are being treated for gunshot wounds after violence between two ethnic groups flared, July 16, 2013.
A wounded man recovers in Bor hospital, capital of South Sudan'sJonglei state, where over 100 people are being treated for gunshot wounds after violence between two ethnic groups flared, July 16, 2013.
The mood in the wards of Bor hospital is anything but somber, as the bandaged get fired up about old grievances and bemoan the fact that they got injured before killing rival clansmen.

​Fifteen-year-old Lou Nuer fighter Duol Puol said there were too many other people in front of him to fire his first shots without hitting one of his own.

He fractured his still fragile bones falling down a hole while fleeing from heavily armed attackers in military uniform.

But that doesn’t mean that Puol won’t go back to quench the thirst for Murle blood in retaliation for his parents, who were killed in a 2010 raid.

He said the Yau Yau forces have 15-year-olds coming to attack but he says the Lou Nuer will also come back, until they make the fighting end.  He said if they don’t stop, neither will we.

Meanwhile, army spokesman Philip Aguer said the military has its hands full with fighting Yau Yau.

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has reminded the government that its first and foremost job is to protect its people, and the U.S government has expressed its deep concern over escalating violence and called on both the U.N. and the government to intervene.

But for now, it seems that nobody is listening, as countless battles are waged in the bush.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, even music are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. Faith Lapidus narrates a report from VOA’s June Soh.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid