A bitter conflict continues to rage in South Sudan, with escalating numbers of people internally displaced and fleeing the country. According to BBC, those internally displaced now number 646,400, with more than 100,000 refugees in other countries.
A consequence of the increasing instability is the lack of safety for doctors and other aid workers seeking to bring relief to South Sudan’s population. Within the past several days MSF, an aid group working in South Sudan, reported that 240 members of their aid staff were forced to take patients out of the hospital they were operating and to flee into the bush.
Raphael Gorgeu, MSF head of mission, reported that the local staff had continued running the hospital in the town of Leer for as long as they were able, “despite incredibly challenging circumstances.”
She added, “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.”
The conflict in South Sudan started in Juba on December 15, 2013, initially triggered by a struggle within the presidential guard. The conflict rapidly escalated to an ethnically-driven war, now threatening the new nation’s fragile future.
Publication Date: February 3, 2014.