South Sudan: Distressing humanitarian situation in Upper Nile as civilians come under fire in Malakal shooting attack

Following a shooting incident in Malakal, Upper Nile state on 01 July 2015, directed at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has received 9 wounded patients, including women and the elderly, at its hospital in the PoC. This incident adds to an already deteriorating humanitarian situation in the state over the last few weeks, which has left the civilian population constantly exposed to episodes of violence, increased numbers of wounded, leading to further displacements, heightening rates of malnutrition and increasing risk of disease outbreaks.

Among the patients received by MSF, one patient was badly wounded and died shortly after being brought to the MSF facility. Three patients in critical condition were stabilised and referred for further treatment and five continue to receive treatment. All of those being treated by MSF are internally displaced people, from among the more than 30,000 seeking shelter from the South Sudan conflict in the Malakal UN compound where the PoC is located.

Since the onset of the conflict in December 2013, civilians, including patients and medical staff have often come under attack in South Sudan. MSF condemns in the strongest possible terms the shooting at the PoC site and calls on all parties to the conflict to respect civilians, medical staff and patients.

MSF is one of the largest medical and humanitarian aid providers in South Sudan with more than 3,100 staff across the country, as well as projects in Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan serving refugees from South Sudan. At present, MSF operates projects in six of the ten states of South Sudan, including in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei where the conflict has taken a particularly heavy toll on the population.