ICRC evacuates 29 injured from Western Lakes after ethnic fighting
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday it has evacuated 29 people suffering gunshot wounds from communal clashes in Western Lakes State by air to Juba for further medical care.
At least 79 people have been reported killed and a further 101 injured in a series of communal clashes and revenge attacks between the Gak and Manuer communities in Maper area of Western Lakes State.
“Intercommunal violence continues to have devastating consequences in South Sudan,” said James Reynolds, ICRC Head of Delegation in South Sudan.
“The only medical facility in the area is a primary health care unit, which is not equipped to handle high numbers of trauma injuries such as gunshot wounds. Our only option was to evacuate patients by plane to Juba Military Hospital, where our surgical teams are taking care of them,” he added.
The humanitarian institution pointed out that the influx of patients has forced its staff to expand the number of beds from 58 to 78 in the ward so that patients can receive post-operative care.
“We often see an increase in the number of casualties treated in the facilities we support during the dry season, but we are concerned about this sudden spike in violence,” added Reynolds. “People’s lives and dignity must be respected always, regardless of the reasons behind the fighting.”
On Tuesday, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said it had re-deployed 75 troops to halt clashes and revenge attacks in Maper.
Local authorities disclosed that the clashes erupted between both sides last week when the Manuer section accused Gak of killing a businessman from their side.