News / Africa

Sudanese Civilians Flee Fighting In Abyei

A 2009 aerial shot of Abyei town, south Sudan (File)
A 2009 aerial shot of Abyei town, south Sudan (File)

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

In Sudan, a medical aid group said Monday that weekend fighting in Abyei has driven out most of the city’s civilian population.

Doctors Without Borders [MSF] is treating both sick and wounded at its hospital in Agok, about 40 kilometers south of Abyei.

“We have two teams permanently based, one of them in Abyei and the second one in Agok. So, we started receiving on Friday information from our team in Abyei that violence was taking place north of Abyei and the population in Abyei started to vacate the town Friday night, Saturday morning, ” said Dr. Gustavo Fernandez, MSF’s program manager in the Abyei region.

Get out

On Saturday, MSF headquarters told team members in Abyei to leave and relocate in Agok. “By that time the town was almost empty of civilians,” said Fernandez.

MSF has a hospital in Agok where surgery can be performed and treatment given to malnourished children.

“So the team in Abyei reinforced the team in Agok and they started to respond to the needs of the people fleeing the conflict in [the] Abyei area. All in all, since Friday…we have admitted 46 patients,” he said.

Main concerns

Many children are among those who’ve fled Abyei and are showing the effects of being on the road. Many are showing signs of dehydration. Rehydration centers have been set up in the Agok hospital

Fernandez said, “At the same time, since Sunday, our team in Agok started to witness the movement of the population going south of Agok, due to the fear the violence might also arrive to [the] town. And this has been a trend that we have seen going on all Sunday and early today, Monday, in Agok.”

MSF has also sent a team south to provide emergency medical treatment for those on the road. Most are heading for the town of Turelei.

“Our intention is to set up and boost medical activities in Turelei so they have surgical capacity as well there. And mobile clinics are able to go outside with the displaced population and assess their needs and respond,” he said.

Fernandez said MSF is unable to determine whether any of those being treated might be soldiers of the SPLA of South Sudan. It had clashed with northern Sudan forces over Abyei, an oil-rich region. Northern forces are now in control. The issue of Abyei is yet to be settled between the north and the south, despite a referendum earlier this year allowing South Sudan to become an independent nation in July.

Planning to stay

While civilians continue to head south away from both Abyei and Agok, for the time being, MSF plans to keep its hospital in Agok open.

“But it depends very much,” said Fernandez, “on how the security situation evolves in the coming hours. It’s a major concern for us that if the security situation deteriorates our capacity to respond to the population’s needs in Agok will be severely hampered.”

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid counter-terror intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid