Home | News    Tuesday 29 April 2014

MSF condemns violence in Unity state capital

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

April 28, 2014 (JUBA) – International medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has strongly condemned the “unspeakable” acts of violence that occurred in South Sudan’s Unity state capital Bentiu two weeks ago.

JPEG - 15.9 kb
Displaced people arrive in Lakes state’s Awerial after crossing by river barge from Jonglei capital Bor, where government and rebel forces are battling for control (Photo: Ben Curtis/AP)

MSF said on Monday that tens of thousands of people had fled to the United Nations camps for safety, where they now face life-threatening living conditions.

An MSF international team reportedly visited Bentiu last week to make an independent assessment and gather first-hand testimonies from eyewitnesses.

“What I saw in Bentiu – bodies of civilians strewn through the streets in grisly states of damage and decay, being eaten by dogs and birds – was an affront to humanity,” said Raphael Gorgeu, MSF’s head of mission in the country.

“The violence in South Sudan has taken a particularly ugly turn, stripping people of their most basic human dignity. It is a terrible thing to witness,” he added.

MSF has called on all armed actors to cease targeted killings, ensure the behaviour and accountability of fighters under their command and assume responsibility for populations in areas under their control.

The medical charity said it had received credible eyewitness accounts that up to 33 people were killed in Bentiu state hospital alone.

“MSF international staff heard tales of horrific brutality taking place on the hospital grounds from those who were present at the time,” said Christopher Lockyear, MSF’s operations manager for South Sudan.

“While patients were not specifically targeted, people who fled to the hospital in search of safety were selectively targeted based on their identities and loyalties. Once again in South Sudan, we see hospitals – places that should be protected safe havens – are increasingly places of attack and cruelty,” he added.

In a statement issued last wee, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said more than 200 people had died in Bentiu after the strategic town fell to opposition armed forces.

Thousands of people reportedly fled for their lives to the nearby UNMISS base, which swelled from 6,000 people to more than 22,000 within a matter of days, placing enormous pressure on aid organisations, which were not equipped to deal with such a rapid influx.

“While organisations like MSF remain committed to caring for those caught up in the conflict as best we can, we are very alarmed that the situation is spiraling out of control. The capacity of aid organisations is not limitless,” says Gorgeu.

“It remains the moral and legal responsibility of all armed actors to limit civilian casualties, facilitate humanitarian assistance and respect medical facilities. It’s time for the Opposition and Government to step up,” he added.

The world body has disclosed that over one million people have been displaced by the violence in South Sudan, with thousands said to have fled to neighbouring countries.

Fighting erupted in mid-December last year between soldiers aligned with former vice-president turned rebel leader Riek Machar and president Salva Kiir, with the latter accusing his former deputy of staging a coup to overthrow the government.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 29 April 08:25, by Mr Point

    What will end the senseless tribalist revenge killings?
    Why did Kiir decide to start this civil war by staging a fake coup?
    What will enable South Sudan to move forward without the massacre of innocents?
    Would this civil war have occurred if Garang had not been killed on his way back from Uganda?

    repondre message

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


South Sudan: Justice remains elusive, one year on 2014-12-17 04:17:40 By Elizabeth Deng December 16 2014 - A year after the outbreak of violence in Juba last December, hopes of accountability for abuses linked to the conflict remain distant. Despite repeated calls (...)

President Salva Kiir has betrayed his people and the nation 2014-12-17 04:15:00 By James Gatdet Dak December 15, 2014 - After many painful decades of destructive war of liberation against successive oppressive regimes in Khartoum, people of South Sudan gained their hard won (...)

Sudan protects terrorists 2014-12-15 04:29:57 By Kimberly Hollingsworth* December 15, 2014 - Sudan used to be the heart of Africa; now, Sudan is the heart of international terrorist organizations. Sudan is the hub for training extremists. (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Norway grants US $1.9 million for humanitarian needs in Darfur 2014-12-16 06:47:08 The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - KHARTOUM Norway helps provide nutritious food to malnourished families in Sudan 14 December 2014 KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (...)

Darfur Association "disheartened" by ICC decision to not meet them 2014-12-14 05:50:13 12 December 2014 RE: DPANY Requests/Direction of the OTP in the Situation of Darfur Dear Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, We, the Darfur People's Association of New York, are disheartened by your (...)

REDRESS calls for the immediate release of Sudan’s distinguished human rights lawyer 2014-12-10 09:02:53 December 9, 2014 ­­ — REDRESS, and many other individuals and organisations around the world, are extremely concerned by the continuing secret detention of Dr. Amin Mekki Medani. On Saturday, 4 (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.