More than 2,000 people died violently in 2009. In the so-called tribal clashes to which MSF responded, three times more people were killed than injured. Some 87 percent of patients were treated for gunshot wounds.
Bones and decomposing bodies mark areas where attacked occurred and the routes people used to flee the violence. Family members have disappeared, died, or been unable to return, so many bodies remain where they fell.
Once they have fled, survivors have a few options. There are camps, the bush, or other villages where they well population numbers, further overloading the few medical facilities and limited food sources.
“The LRA are in my home in Congo and they are here, in Sudan. When they captured me, they killed people as I watched – beating them with sticks, stabbing them with bayonets. Now I think nothing of the future. What future?” – An LRA abductee, now a refugee in Sudan.
As always when larger numbers of people are displaced, diseases such as cholera or measles can become medical emergencies. MSF runs vaccination campaigns wherever possible, but the sheer numbers of people mean that coverage is far from comprehensive.
Food shortages, already causing extensive malnutrition in Southern Sudan, are exacerbated by the influx of displaced people. Here, a mother feeds her child nutritious ready-to-use-food (RUF) in an MSF feeding center.
“We still fear the past and we think there might be another attack. We still think that they will come again. We fear this.” – A survivor who lost her husband and five children during an attack. The violence continues.
December 11, 2011
In 2009, MSF teams witnessed the most severe escalation of violence in Southern Sudan since the signing of the peace agreement nearly five years ago.