Doctors Without Borders on Friday warned that thousands of civilians fleeing artillery fire in in South Sudan’s Greater Upper Nile Region have no access to emergency healthcare, food, and water.
The group’s east African office said that most of the 20,500 residents of the town of Wau Shilluk fled for the bush on Jan. 25 when opposing forces started an exchange of artillery fire across the Nile, adding that one of the shells landed dangerously close to their hospital.
“What really concerns us is the inability of the displaced persons to reach emergency healthcare, safe drinking water, food, and shelter,” Marcus Bachmann, the group’s head of mission in South Sudan said, adding that some were sick or wounded.
Doctors Without Borders — also known by its French acronym, MSF — has called on both government forces and opposition rebels to respect the protected status of medical facilities and ensure that all displaced populations have access to medical care.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has been rocked by civil war for most of its five-year-plus existence.