MSF suspends some work in South Sudan after attacks

2018-07-24 17:27

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Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Tuesday it has suspended most of its work in South Sudan's northern Maban county, after protesters looted its offices and those of several humanitarian agencies.

"A group of unidentified armed men broke into (the) MSF office and compound, looting the organisation and staff's properties, burning down a tent full of equipment and destroying most of the vehicles and communication devices," the medical charity said in a statement.

"The attack has forced MSF to suspend the majority of its medical support to the host communities and the refugee population..."."

The charity runs a hospital in the Doro refugee camp and offers consultations at the state hospital of the regional capital Bunj.

MSF head of mission Samuel Theodore said the team would continue to treat those with the most critical medical conditions.

"However, as the safety of healthcare personnel and facilities cannot be guaranteed, we have no other choice but to suspend the rest of our activities, which will leave 88 000 people with limited access to much needed medical services."

The United Nations refugee agency UNCHR said on Monday that its premises were among about 10 that had been stormed and looted by protesters. Two UNCHR staff members were injured.

The violence occurred after locals protested a lack of job opportunities, accusing humanitarian organisations of hiring from outside the county, UNHCR said.

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Aid workers have frequently been targeted during South Sudan's four-year-long civil war, with 100 killed since the outbreak of fighting in December 2013, according to the UN.

Thousands of aid workers work in the country which is suffering one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with four million displaced and seven million - more than half the population - requiring food aid in 2018, according to the UN.

Read more on:    msf  |  south sudan  |  east africa

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