Alarming levels of human rights abuse and dire humanitarian situations are being witnessed in South Sudan, as fighting intensifies in the Africa’s youngest nation, humanitarian body, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), said over the weekend.
South Sudan’s ongoing conflict began in December 2013 and has been
marked by brutal violence against civilians and deepening suffering
across the country with some 119,000 people being sheltered in United
The UN estimates that the number of people in need in 2015 will
include an anticipated 1.95 million internally displaced persons (IDPs)
and a projected 293,000 refugees.
MSF said the situation had worsened and hampered the delivery of food
and medical aid to hundreds of victims in camps, and asked soldiers
involved in the conflict to respect civilian rights.
“People in these areas have no access to medical facilities since the
warlords are also destroying medical institutions. Escalation of the
conflict has left people exposed to violence. Expectant mothers, women
and children have been greatly affected,” Paul Critchley, MSF’s head of
mission in South Sudan, said.
Critchley said planes carrying medical supplies could nolonger access
the affected areas due to the intense fighting, and that many civilians
were at risk of contracting diseases especially malaria and other
Deputy operations manager Johanna Von Peteghem said the civilian
population was scattered and many had fled into forests where they could not
access medical care.
“People are fighting using all sorts of weapons…pangas, grenades,
guns. The warlords are merciless. One boy about 9 years was resting in a
‘Protection of Civilians’ area but he was still shot,” said Johanna.
Currently 30,000 people are living in the ‘Protection of Civilians’
sites where there has been an influx in new arrivals, MSF, says.
Most affected states include Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile where
there has been an upsurge of violence leading to suspension of medical
services, destruction of health services and evacuation of medical
Approximately 200,000 people in the Unity state have no access to medical care, says MSF.