News / Africa

Civilians Bear Brunt of Jonglei State Violence in South Sudan

An MSF doctor examines a baby in Pibor, in Jonglei State in South Sudan. People who went into hiding following recent attacks continue to come in for urgently needed medical care at MSF's re-opened facilities.
An MSF doctor examines a baby in Pibor, in Jonglei State in South Sudan. People who went into hiding following recent attacks continue to come in for urgently needed medical care at MSF's re-opened facilities.
Joe DeCapua

The medical aid group Doctors Without Borders said it continues to treat wounded civilians in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, where ethnic violence stemming from cattle raids has left about one thousand people dead. Many of the wounded are seeking help some three weeks after an attack on the town of Pibor and villages in Pibor County.

“We have medical teams stationed in different parts of Jonglei State. Many of the people that we are receiving after the recent violence have extremely bad wounds,” said Jean Marc Jacobs, deputy head of mission in South Sudan for the group, also known as MSF.

Festering wounds

Many of the wounded are women and children. About 60 civilians had gunshot wounds. Many others had been beaten as they tried to escape the violence. There are also many malaria cases.

“The main problem that we see,” he said, “is that people have taken a very long time to actually reach medical facilities. Many of those wounds are now badly infected.”

MSF has been operating in Jonglei State since 2005 with one hospital and two outreach clinics. Jacobs said, “It is a state where access to basic services is very limited. Hospitals, schools, access to water – all these are very, very limited. The violence is preventing people from accessing these services even more.”

He added, “We are very worried by the pattern of violence that we are witnessing. This has been going on for the last couple of years. And the impact on civilians is really becoming unacceptable.”

Missing

MSF has 156 staff members in Jonglei State and they have not been immune to the violence there.

“There are still 25 that are unaccounted for and one of our staff, sadly, has been confirmed dead. This is obviously very sad news for us and we are extremely worried about that the 25 that we are still trying to locate,’ said Jacobs.

The unaccounted for workers were all hired locally. It’s possible some have sought safety with family members, but others may still be hiding in the bush. “We fear the worst, obviously,” he said.

MSF has sent teams to various parts of the state to try to locate the missing. They often found a lot of empty villages, indicating civilians are in hiding. The concern is that some may be wounded or injured and without medical care.

Security?

There are national and international troops in Jonglei State. Jacobs said, “It is not for MSF to comment on whether or not they provide security to the people.”

The U.N. Special Envoy to South Sudan, Hilde Johnson, said more peacekeeping troops are being sent to Jonglei State. There had been concerns that those troops were outnumbered by local gunmen.

While the medical aid group said it has enough supplies to treat those in need, getting the supplies to Jonglei isn’t easy. A lack of road access means the supplies must be flown in.

“It is a major undertaking, but we are making a big investment and we are committed to the population of Jonglei,” he said.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs