Women and children are majority of victims in new violent attacks on village in Upper Nile State, Sudan
Many patients suffered multiple gunshot wounds and will need follow-up surgery and care.
12 May 2009
On Friday 8 May, an attack on the village of Torkej in Upper Nile State, bordering Jonglei State, resulted in many wounded arriving at the MSF Hospital in Nasir. Patients said that many are dead and that thousands have been forced to flee. Torkej is only about 20km from Nasir where MSF runs a hospital providing basic health care, inpatient facilities and surgical care. Since early morning last Friday, victims started arriving in the MSF hospital in Nasir. A total of 57 victims have made it to the hospital so far. The MSF surgeon immediately started treating gunshot injuries. By Sunday, an ICRC mobile surgical team was able to fly in and assist. Many patients suffered multiple gunshot wounds and will need follow-up surgery and care. One patient, a 15 year-old boy died in the hospital from severe cranial gunshot wounds. The vast majority of the victims are children and women. Tribal raids between various groups across Jonglei and Upper Nile states have escalated in recent months, resulting in hundreds of dead and thousands displaced. In Torkej in the early morning hours, attackers surrounded and raided the village. According to reports from local sources, there have been at least 66 people killed, the majority of them children and women. Many families abandoned all their possessions as they fled. Several thousand civilians have been displaced, with upwards of 1,000 already arriving in the outskirts of Nasir. MSF teams have been working in Sudan since 1978, providing emergency medical humanitarian assistance. In addition to frequent outbreaks of violence and attacks, in the region, malnutrition is prevalent, maternal mortality rates remain among the highest in the world, tuberculosis and kala azar infections are ongoing problems, and large-scale outbreaks of meningitis, measles, cholera, and malaria are common. Only three weeks ago, MSF teams responded to the needs of the wounded from violent clashes in Akobo.