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Aid agency evacuates dozens wounded in W. Lakes state


December 5, 2019 (JUBA) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said is evacuated to Juba 29 people suffering from gunshot wounds due to inter-communal clashes in Western Lakes state for medical care.

Over 60 people were killed and nearly 100 wounded in the fighting between two sub-clans in an area north of Rumbek.

“Inter-communal 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.

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ICRC said the influx of patients has forced the agency 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,” stressed Reynolds.

“People’s lives and dignity must be respected always, regardless of the reasons behind the fighting,” he added.

Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC has reportedly evacuated 327 patients by air to the two surgical facilities it supports in the country. Most of the evacuated patients, mainly women and children, have reportedly been involved inter-communal violence and cattle raids.

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While fighting linked to the conflict has decreased, violence in South Sudan continues to affect the entire communities.


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