Attacks on health facilities spike in South Sudan – report

Photo: Médecins Sans Frontières

Juba, April 23, 2018 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s government and rebel forces have systematically attack health care facilities, aid workers, and deny humanitarian access to areas that need medical assistance, a new report released by a New York-based advocacy group, Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, said.

The report covers attacks from January 2016 to December 2017. In the document, the group says both rebel and government troops carried out at least 50 attacks against health care facilities and personnel and more than 750 denials of humanitarian access. The agency also warned that the figures could be more due to what it described as “chronic underreporting by health and humanitarian organizations.”

The agency further asserted in the report that the Sudan People’s Liberation army-In Opposition (SPLA) and government forces have damaged or destroyed medical facilities through arson and looting. The report also implicated South Sudan’s rival factions in abduction, detainment, intimidation, and killing of medial workers.

Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict says its inquiry was conducted in Greater Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal, and Equatoria regions and that it interviewed South Sudanese refugees, humanitarian actors, and medical personnel.

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