Fearing civilian casualties, MSF remains in Freetown
Approximately 50 civilian casualties arrived at the Connaught hospital in Freetown on the afternoon of April 8, 2000. This surge of wounded
followed the shooting which erupted during the "demonstration for
peace" organized on Monday in front of the house of Fodé Sankho, Vice
President of Sierra Leone and ex-chief of the rebellion.
Of the 40 people, some cared for by the team of Medecins Sans
Frontieres who are present at the hospital, two died as of their
arrival, 34 were wounded by bullets and four suffered from wounds by
crushing. On the 34 wounded by bullets, 10 were injured in the back
when they tried to flee. The MSF surgical team
operated on 11 people who were seriously injured. In addition, the hospital mortuary held the bodies of seven civilians
This incident occurred in spite of the presence of the soldiers of the
force of Minusil, the United Nations mission in Sierra Leone.
It is the first result of the climate of panic created by the armed
groups in Freetown. MSF asks that the involved
factions acts urgently to save the civilians and to respect the work
of the aid organizations.
Whereas almost all international organizations evacuated the capital
Sierra Leone, MSF maintains a surgical team in
Freetown in order to come to the assistance of casualties. Its
missions of Kenema and Moyamba, inside the country, have been