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South Sudan: At least 62 wounded as fresh clashes erupt in Jonglei state

18-03-2013 News Release 1346

Geneva/Juba (ICRC) – Armed violence over the weekend between South Sudan's army and an armed group resulted in scores of casualties in a large and extremely remote area of Jonglei state with limited health-care services.

A surgical team of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is performing emergency surgery on 30 wounded people in Pibor town.

"Fighting is ongoing and all those wounded are entitled to receive medical care," said Melker Mabeck, head of the ICRC delegation in Juba. "With the onset of the rainy season, reaching the wounded will become increasingly difficult. The ICRC stands ready to provide medical care for wounded of all backgrounds."

Over the last two weeks, 62 wounded people have been referred to the ICRC surgical team in Pibor, including the 30 who required emergency surgery. The remainder have been triaged and cared for as required.

"Health-care personnel work neutrally and impartially – they prioritize those most in need of care, without discrimination, and they do not take sides in fighting. They must be left to do their jobs in safety," said Mr Mabeck. "Several attacks on health-care facilities in Jonglei in recent years have contributed to a reduction in the population's already scant access to care."

This is the second time within a month that the ICRC surgical team's expertise in caring for weapon-wounded patients has been required in Jonglei. In February, the team – normally based in Malakal Teaching Hospital – was sent to treat 16 people in Walgak village, Akobo West county, who were wounded during armed cattle rustling attacks in the area.

For further information, please contact:
Ewan Watson, ICRC Juba, tel: +211 912 178 946
Jean-Yves Clémenzo, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 22 71 or +41 79 217 32 17