Home | News    Friday 28 February 2014

Top UN official describes “shocking” Malakal aftermath

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February 27, 2014 (NEW YORK) – The top UN official in South Sudan has described scenes in Malakal as “shocking”, as further reports emerged of looting at medical facilities in the Upper Nile state capital.

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Women carry the body of a civilian killed in the centre of Upper Nile state capital Malakal on 21 January 2014 (Photo: AP/Mackenzie Knowles-Coursin)

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer, who was visiting Malakal on Wednesday, posted a series of harrowing Tweets from the town, which has been the scene of heavy fighting between pro-government troops and rebel forces.

“#Malakal looks & feels deserted. Besides the occasional armed man wandering through town, there are corpses, flies & vultures to be seen,” he said in a Tweet posted on his account.

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which has been conducting patrols in various sites across the town, said patients had reported witnessing opposition forces looting the Malakal Teaching Hospital.

PATIENTS SHOT IN THEIR BEDS

The reports came as medical charity Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) said on Wednesday it appeared patients at the hospital appeared to have been murdered as they lay in their beds.

MSF said the facility had also been ransacked and burned, including a specialised ward used to treat malnourished children.

Lanzer has spoken of his shock at seeing the aftermath of fighting at the hospital, describing it as an “empty, silent shell”.

“Shocking scenes at #Malakal Teaching Hospital: nothing left except the deceased and a loyal dog protecting the remains of his owner,” he Tweeted.

According to Martin Nesirky, the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, a further 100 patients and civilians from the hospital were transferred to the UNMISS protection site in Malakal for medical treatment.

UNMISS patrols also visited displaced civilians sheltering in a church in Malakal town, who have also been left without access to medical services.

“The mission will give the people seeking refuge in the church the option of moving to its base so they can be better protected and receive medical treatment,” Nesirky said in a statement from New York on Wednesday.

Nesirky said UNMISS staff had observed forces arriving on Tuesday east and south of the mission’s compound in Malakal, which is currently providing refuge to come 22,000 civilians, who fled their homes after violence erupted.

CIVILIANS STRANDED

Meanwhile, Lanzer has also expressed his concern at reports that up to 10,000 civilians, who fled violence in Jonglei state capital or and were attempting to cross to Minkaman in Lakes state, remain stranded on islands in the River Nile.

It’s estimated that more than 80,000 displaced people have arrived in Minkaman, dwarfing the local population of about 60,000.

The influx is continuing, according to Lanzer, who said that some 1,200 people are leaving Jonglei to make the crossing each day.

Lanzer, who was visiting Bor on Thursday, said while some stall holders and markets had reopened for business, the town remained a virtual ghost town with neighbourhoods emptied and widespread destruction.

He said the remaining 5,000 displaced civilians still sheltering at the UNMISS base told him they didn’t feel safe enough to leave.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that nearly 900,000 people have been driven from their homes in South Sudan since conflict erupted in the capital, Juba, on 15 December before spreading throughout the country.

Those displaced include some 710,000 people who remain inside the country and 171,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries.

UNMISS said it is currently providing protection to some 43,000 civilians in Juba, with more than 75,000 overall seeking shelter at multiple UN sites across the country.

(ST)

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  • 28 February 08:43, by Gat Gan Kiir

    "According to Martin Nesirky, 100 patients and civilians from the hospital were transferred to the UNMISS protection site in Malakal for medical treatment" If these people have been taken to UN compound for medical attention why you accusing warring party that they killed them? You must be crazy to say at least, hospital is emery due to transference patients to UN. Full stop

    repondre message

    • 28 February 09:15, by Robot

      Rwandan genocide was planned in 2 yrs and executed in 3 months with the presence of so called UN, this blood letting has UN involvements in it. As if not enough they see this as a fortune for the imperialist to loot and satisfy their foreign interest while goons who doesn’t n will never b at ease till they’re given power sees nothing wrong at all. God have mercy on us.

      repondre message

    • 28 February 09:40, by mathem jech amer

      Gat Gan Kiir
      Those 100 are Nuers, no any other tribes among them

      repondre message

  • 28 February 09:08, by Konkooc

    let UN see these are the devil forces led by devil riek machar whom west backed in what they so called democracy. that is not democracy but democrazy. who will be ruled by riek, the dead?. nuer are not people but animals.the loyal dog protecting it dead master is better than riek

    repondre message

  • 1 March 13:35, by Guandong

    That’s a false report. There was no patients being killed by rebels that is reverse it was government troops killed patients in Malakal teaching hospital. I was there. Nothing happened at all like that. Those witnesses are the soldiers of the government who liars to be six while they are military.

    repondre message

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