Doctors Without Borders Alarmed By Ongoing Violence in Darfur, Sudan

Valérie Batselaere/MSF
Click to hide Text

New York/Geneva, August 3, 2005 – The international humanitarian aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues to treat victims of violence in all locations where it is present in Darfur.

"Our teams are still witnessing repeated violence against the population," says Dr. Rowan Gillies, president of MSF International. "We are deeply concerned about this and its consequences for our patients and their families."

In the last 3 weeks, 52 victims had to be treated by MSF teams for violence related injuries in Darfur.

On July 24, the MSF team in Shangil Tobaya, in north Darfur, witnessed an attack on the internally displaced persons (IDP) camp located directly next to the MSF clinic. Grenades were used, several shelters in the camp were burned, and hundreds of IDPs were forced to again run for their lives. The MSF team provided medical assistance to 14 people, all of them were civilians with bullet and shrapnel wounds. Four of the injured were children.

On the July 16, 23 people had to be admitted at the MSF hospital in Mornei, in west Darfur. All were injured when violence broke out during a food distribution in the IDP camp. Nine were injured by bullets – two died at the hospital and six had to be referred to the El Geneina hospital, where one remains in critical condition.

Also in Mornei, on July 11, an MSF medical team treated 15 women that had been raped and beaten. In all cases, medical personnel found clinical evidence of rape and beatings. All received emergency treatment to prevent serious medical complications that can be the consequence of rape.

Just one month earlier, on June 9, the MSF medical team in Korma, in north Darfur, examined and treated 15 women who had been attacked the day before. Five had been raped – one was fifteen years of age and another one was 3-months pregnant. All had been beaten and humiliated.

From January to May 2005, MSF teams treated over 500 persons for violence-related injuries and 278 women for rape. MSF has been working in Darfur since December 2003. With 180 international and 3,000 Sudanese staff operating in 32 locations across the region, Darfur continues to be one of MSF's largest operations worldwide.