News / Africa

MSF Says Thousands Flee into Bush in South Sudan State

A  medic sits in the in-patient department of the MSF clinic set up at the camp for displaced people in the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12, 2014.A medic sits in the in-patient department of the MSF clinic set up at the camp for displaced people in the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12, 2014.
x
A  medic sits in the in-patient department of the MSF clinic set up at the camp for displaced people in the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12, 2014.
A medic sits in the in-patient department of the MSF clinic set up at the camp for displaced people in the grounds of the United Nations Mission to South Sudan (UNMISS) base in Juba, South Sudan, on January 12, 2014.
Eight days after a cessation of hostilities agreement was signed for South Sudan, unrest in southern Unity state has forces thousands to flee into the bush, international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Friday.

Among those who fled were some 240 South Sudanese MSF staff members, who took some of the most severely ill patients at Leer Hospital with them, the aid group said in a statement. 

Other patients who were able to flee on their own also left the hospital, which was empty of patients and staff on Friday, MSF said.

"In the past three days, the situation became too unstable and the only way to provide medical care was to take patients out of the hospital and to flee with the population into the bush," MSF head of mission Raphael Gorgeu said.

MSF said it was extremely worried for the safety and well-being of its staff members and patients.
The only way to provide medical care was to take patients out of the hospital and to flee with the population into the bush.

"Leer Hospital was the only fully functioning hospital in southern Unity State, and now that it is no longer safe to work in this medical facility, more than 270,000 people have no access to health care," Gorgeu said.

Since the current crisis began in December, more 860,000 people in South Sudan have been forced to flee their homes, according to a report released Friday by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

An estimated 740,000 people are displaced inside South Sudan, with the largest increase in the past week in Unity state, in particular in oil-producing Leer and Koch counties, OCHA said. Another 123,400 people have fled to neighboring countries.

MSF said that more than 10,000 people who had been displaced by fighting in the Unity state capital, Bentiu, and fled to Leer have been displaced a second time by the recent fighting.

"The longer the population lives out in the open without adequate food, clean water or shelter, the more vulnerable they become to disease outbreaks and malnutrition," the medical aid group said.

During a visit to South Sudan this week, U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said some 3.7 million South Sudanese are "severely food insecure."  Prior to the outbreak of fighting on Dec. 15, that number was one million, the U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Toby Lanzer, said in a tweet.


The warring sides in South Sudan signed two agreements in Addis Ababa last week -- one to cease fighting and the other on the status of 11 political figures who were detained when the unrest erupted in mid-December.

Seven of the 11 political detainees have been conditionally released to the custody of the Kenyan government, but South Sudan has said it has evidence to charge the remaining four with treason.
Women carry the body of a civilian killed in the center of Malakal, Upper Nile State in South Sudan, Jan. 21, 2014.Women carry the body of a civilian killed in the center of Malakal, Upper Nile State in South Sudan, Jan. 21, 2014.
x
Women carry the body of a civilian killed in the center of Malakal, Upper Nile State in South Sudan, Jan. 21, 2014.
Women carry the body of a civilian killed in the center of Malakal, Upper Nile State in South Sudan, Jan. 21, 2014.

Although the cessation of hostilities agreement called for fighting to stop within 24 hours of the pact's signing, there have been reports of continued fighting around South Sudan, particularly in Jonglei,  Unity and Upper Nile states, which saw some of the heaviest fighting of the six-week conflict.

MSF repeated calls made in the cessation of hostilities agreement for parties to the South Sudan conflict to allow aid organizations access to affected communities, and allow patients to receive medical treatment irrespective of their origin or ethnicity.

Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
x
Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
Empty tins litter the ground at the looted compound of an aid agency in Malakal, South Sudan.
The medical aid group two weeks ago suspended activities in Malakal, in Upper Nile state, after its facilities there were looted and its staff threatened.

A week earlier, MSF's compound in Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, was looted.

MSF Executive Director Arjan Hehenkamp told VOA early this week that in the largest state in South Sudan, Jonglei, only the town of Lankien still has a functioning secondary hospital after the medical facilities in the provincial capital, Bor, and the town of Akobo were closed because of heavy fighting.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites 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.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
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, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
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 Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
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 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.

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