South Sudan

Villages Attacked in Jonglei State, Medair Responds

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On 7 January, Medair’s Emergency Response Team flew into Pibor town by helicopter to assess the damage and determine how we could best provide assistance.

From late December to early January, an armed group attacked multiple villages in Jonglei State, leaving a vicious path of destruction in its wake. The militia razed houses, destroyed water systems, looted and burned NGO compounds and clinics, and stole large herds of livestock. Tens of thousands of people fled from the violence into the surrounding villages and countryside.

From Pibor town, our team now reports that residents are returning in a steady stream from the attacks that began in the town on 31 December. As many as 1,000 displaced people, mostly women and children, are congregating at the local primary school, which is being used as a transit area. The humanitarian community estimates that Pibor town could end up with 16,000 displaced people as a result of the violence.

Sanitation is very poor at the school where people are sheltering. The school latrine slabs have collapsed, forcing people to resort to open defecation, which can cause the spread of deadly diseases. Emergency latrines are urgently needed.

The water system at the school is strained beyond capacity given its current rate of usage. Further, at least four of the town’s boreholes have been damaged and require immediate repair to support the water needs of the escalating population.

Your donations are urgently needed for this unexpected intervention.

We will bring you more information on this developing situation in Jonglei State as soon as it becomes available.