4th August 2021
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W. Lakes violence: ICRC airlifts the injured to Juba

Author: Staff Writer | Published: Thursday, December 5, 2019

A cattle keeper protects his herd with an AK-47 somewhere in South Sudan. Presence of arms in the hands of civilians is often said to be one of the reasons clashes recur among the pastoralist communities | Credit | bpnews.net

The International Committee of the Red Cross says it has evacuated nearly 30 victims of the communal violence in Western Lakes State to Juba.

The clashes erupted between both sides last Wednesday when the Manuer section accused Gak of killing a businessman from their side.

Sixty-seven people have been killed and nearly 100 wounded in the fighting between two sub-clans approximately 100 km north of Rumbek, according to local media reports.

The only health facility there is said to be overwhelmed with the injured because of its poor state.

“Our only option was to evacuate patients by plane to Juba Military Hospital, where our surgical teams are taking care of them,” said James Reynolds, ICRC head of delegation in South Sudan, in a statement issued on Thursday.

Since the beginning of the year, the ICRC says it has evacuated 327 patients by air to the two surgical facilities it supports in the country.

Most of them were linked to inter-communal violence and cattle raids and included women and children, it wrote.

Researchers have often blamed escalation of such conflicts on proliferation of arms in the hands of civilians.

Though, disarmament exercises have been conducted in the area, gums still find their way back to youth, a situation blamed on politicians.

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