UN statement on Jonglei violence

Below is taken directly from Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan from the Sudan Tribune.  


(Juba, 24 August 2011): The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, Ms. Lise Grande, has expressed her concern about the impact of renewed inter-communal violence on the civilian population in Jonglei State. Clashes have left villages burned, humanitarian assets looted and hundreds injured or killed.

Following reports of violence in Pieri and surrounding areas in Uror County, a humanitarian assessment team was dispatched to the area on 22 August. The team, which was made up of UN agencies as well as frontline NGOs, visited several of the affected areas, confirming more than 330 buried dead and close to 200 injured in Pieri and Motot villages. Over 250 unaccompanied minors were also identified.

Local authorities have reported that more than 600 people may have been killed in these attacks. “It is possible that many more bodies remain unburied in the bush,” said Ms. Grande. “During yesterday’s flyover, the assessment team saw two villages that appeared to be torched to the ground.”

The team estimates that 26,800 individuals have been displaced by the recent fighting, including 15,000 in the Pieri area and 11,800 in Mutot, Pulchuol and Karaam Payams. Many more areas have not yet been reached. Humanitarian partners are working to verify population movements and assess the needs of people who have fled from their homes.

Since February this year, a series of clashes between the Lou Nuer and Murle communities throughout Jonglei State has resulted in the loss of over 1,000 lives, the displacement of tens of thousands of people and the abduction of hundreds of women and children, from both communities.

“Aid agencies are doing everything they can to assist people in need. It’s unfortunate that the World Food Programme’s warehouse in Pieri, which contained enough food to feed 2,000 people for one month, was looted and that a Médecins Sans Frontières supported clinic was semi-destroyed and a car torched,” said Ms. Grande.

The Humanitarian Coordinator confirmed that health partners had responded by rapidly evacuating the severely injured and treating approximately 100 people in a damaged clinic. Already, over 80 people have been medically evacuated and more will be moved to hospitals in Juba in the coming days. NGOs and local community health workers are currently treating 86 people in Motot and Walgak.


For further information, contact Carolina Kern, Communications Specialist in the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan (kernc@un.org / +249 904 215 718).

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