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Violence Grips South Sudan; Aid Groups Struggle To Provide Assistance

News outlets report on continuing violence in South Sudan, where humanitarian aid groups are struggling to provide assistance amid the destruction of hospitals and other facilities.

Associated Press/ABC News: Scenes of Death in South Sudan: ‘No Humanity Here’
“…Human Rights Watch said Thursday that both government and rebel forces are responsible for serious abuses that may amount to war crimes for atrocities committed in Malakal and Bentiu, another capital of an oil-producing state, despite a cease-fire signed in January. Reprisal killings, based on ethnicity, are common place…” (Gridneff, 2/27).

The Economist: Conflict in South Sudan: Back with a vengeance
“The second chapter of South Sudan’s civil war began with characteristic brutality on February 18th. The White Army, an ethnic Nuer militia, announced its return to Malakal, the capital of oil-producing Upper Nile state, with the wholesale slaughter of civilians. Shocked aid workers reported marauding gunmen raping and murdering the patients at the town’s only functioning hospital…” (3/1).

Inter Press Service: U.N. Report on South Sudan Paints Grim Picture
“An interim human rights report released by the beleaguered U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is being tentatively hailed by rights groups and observers who have pressured the mission to be more transparent with its findings…” (Oakford, 2/26).

The Lancet: Aid groups struggle to meet South Sudan’s needs
“…In a country of roughly 12 million people, at least 723,000 people are internally displaced. Another 145,000 have fled into neighboring countries. The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates 3.7 million people might not be getting enough to eat. To mount a response to all of these problems the U.N. says humanitarian groups need US$1.27 billion through June. In the meantime, aid agencies are racing to provide emergency assistance with the resources they have, while simultaneously attempting to head off catastrophes. It is a nearly impossible task…” (Green, 3/1).

New York Times: Civilians Flee as Violence Worsens in South Sudan
“…One month after a cease-fire was signed between the conflicting sides in South Sudan, the war goes on and the situation continues to deteriorate for the civilians caught between them. Far from subsiding, in some cases the violence has taken on an even more brutal edge…” (Kushkush/Kulish, 2/26).

TIME: Hospital Patients in South Sudan Shot Dead in their Beds
“Hospital patients in South Sudan have been murdered in their beds and arson attacks have been perpetrated against medical facilities, reports AP, as violence in the country worsens…” (Fry, 2/26).

VOA News: Hospitals, Patients Attacked in South Sudan, MSF Says
“Medical care in South Sudan has come under heavy fire since fighting broke out in December, with patients shot in hospital beds, wards burned to the ground, medical equipment looted, even an entire hospital destroyed, international medical group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said Wednesday…” (Rwakaringi, 2/26).