MSF shocked at bombing but remains active in Sudan
Recent bombings have created logistical limitations for MSF teams accessing remote populations
11 August 2000
MSF staff in Nairobi have expressed expressed shock over the bombing on August 7 of the Mapel town in the Sudan, and said it has made it extremely difficult for MSF staff to access remote populations in the area. There were no reports of casualties or injuries from the bombing. There was a second recent bombing on Mapel on August 9. On August 8, there was a bombing on Ajep. MSF staff, a team of five, are remaining active on the ground and there are no immediate plans to evacuate them as they feel safe in their present locale. Remaining present also provides MSF an opportunity to monitor the situation in regard to potential emergencies (displacement, wounded, nutrition, epidemics). The team in Ajep (four persons) remains present as well. However Leen Verstraelen, an MSF spokesperson in Nairobi, said the bombing campaign in Bahr el-Ghazal has put civilians and humanitarian staff in a dangerous situation. MSF is seeking more details about the bombing, which fell close to the present health structure used by MSF in Mapel. However no MSF structure was hit. MSF is operating in locations throughout southern Sudan, including Ajep, Akuem, Marial Lou and Mapel, although the organisation was forced to pull out of northern Bahr el-Ghazal recently because of the bombing campaign. The MSF team in Marial Lou was recently reduced from 22 to seven. The remaining team is in the process of re-scaling its activities to a minimum. All activities in the outskirts of Marial Lou have stopped. The main focus now has been placed on the Marial Lou hospital where there is a potential reduction in beds. Marial Lou has not yet been the target of a bombing session.