News / Africa

MSF Reveals Details of Hospital Attacks in South Sudan

A South Sudanese nurse talks to a malnourished internally displaced orphan girl in the hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) inside the camp for IDPs in Malakal, Upper Nile State, May 29, 2014.
A South Sudanese nurse talks to a malnourished internally displaced orphan girl in the hospital run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) inside the camp for IDPs in Malakal, Upper Nile State, May 29, 2014.
Gabe Joselow

The international medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders says at least 58 people have been killed on hospital grounds in South Sudan since a conflict broke out late last year.  The aid agency, better known by its French initials MSF, released a report Tuesday documenting repeated attacks on its facilities across the country.

MSF has released details of attacks on hospitals and health care workers since December, when a political dispute in South Sudan first spiraled into inter-ethnic violence.

According to the report, MSF facilities have been ransacked, patients and health care staff killed, and vehicles, including ambulances, have been destroyed or stolen.

Speaking to reporters in Nairobi, MSF Program Manager for South Sudan William Robertson said the violence represented an “inversion” of the role of health care facilities as places of safety.

“Indeed the violence carried out against the wounded and sick and those seeking shelter are not only violations of international law, but they are an affront to human dignity. The damage has far-reaching consequences beyond the act of violence itself as hundreds of thousands of people become cut off from health care at a time when they need it the most,” he said.

The attacks documented by MSF took place in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states - areas at the center of the conflict between government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir, and rebel factions aligned with former vice president Riek Machar.

In one incident in February, MSF said armed groups entered the 280-bed Malakal Teaching Hospital, killing 11 patients and three other unidentified people.  According to the report, patients said the assailants demanded money or mobile phones and shot those who could not pay up.

Robertson said all sides in the conflict have been involved in attacks on health facilities.

“It is clear, both parties have committed atrocities and these acts.  This is evident for us.  We are not in a position to identify main perpetrators, because at times we have not been present at the worst periods.  There are others who are able to do it.  But clearly all parties have committed these events,” he said.

Robertson also said others, who survived hospital attacks, have suffered psychological trauma, after some laid for days next to the bodies of those who were shot in their beds.

Warring sides in South Sudan have signed three ceasefire agreements since January to end the violence and allow for humanitarian access, but the deals were all quickly violated.

The United Nations says 1.5 million people have been displaced by violence, and reports alarming rates of hunger across the country. 

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lisa from: Tx
July 01, 2014 5:38 PM
The killing of innocent people is act of evil. Have been in both areas this people are leaving their lifes, the killing started from the city juba, when the government army started knocking at peoples door asking if their nuers, when you yes, your shot to death. Its the same command which is pass to Dr rieks areas, remember if the presendent did not call upon his Amy to disamy rieks, security the killing shouldn't have happened. The only thing which we have to understand that its because of kiir, thousand have to die just because of being nuer. Am from equitorie i did spend half of my life in nuer land. Have never been mock at or called outside nuer are peaceful people. But why the government have to permit its army to kill. The ugandan army, the Sudan rebel from dafur under the command of kiir to kill the nuers. Because they could not kill Dr riek. So they had to go at the hospital thinking he is their. Nobody will kill Dr riek, remember he is for peace the government think by killing his people will stop him from promoting peace. Am sorry for the deases, God have mercy on their souls. I will never forget about all who pass away because of government studipity. We all know the truth very soon Jesus will stop the killing and suffering of his people.am asking every south sudanese to pray or fast for sake of the dead, the suffering and the voiceless. We can fight evil with prayers. And also we pray for the protection of the peace makers.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs