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

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter 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.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid