MSF condemns the outrageous violence in the Malakal Protection of Civilians site on February 17 and 18, which claimed the lives of 19 people, including two MSF staff. The violence left humanitarian facilities destroyed and thousands of civilian shelters burned to the ground. The population of 47,000 who were sheltering in the camp at the time of the attack had already suffered through two years of conflict and displacement and were living in inhumane and overcrowded conditions. With large sections of the camp now destroyed, protection of civilians and a sustained humanitarian effort is required to provide basic life-saving services to the affected population.
MSF strongly condemns the attack, which is yet another instance of brutality in a conflict marked by utter lack of respect for the lives and dignity of civilians. At the same time, MSF calls on all armed actors to respect the provision of medical assistance to vulnerable populations in the wake of the unacceptable looting and ransacking of its medical centre in Pibor. Thousands of residents fled to the bush to escape the violence with no access to assistance. In this moment of immense medical need, MSF has launched an urgent response, but its capacity to respond to medical needs in Pibor, Lekuangole and Gumuruk has been severely diminished as a result of this unacceptable looting.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) employs more than 3,000 South Sudanese staff and 330 international staff to respond to a wide range of medical emergencies and provide free and high quality healthcare to people in need in 17 project locations across the country.