Unity residents call for end to violence

20 Apr 2012

Unity residents call for end to violence

20 April 2012 - Residents of Unity State have called for an immediate end to hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan, which have led to loss of life and destruction of property.

To date, 14 people have been killed and 23 injured in the attacks.

"If these clashes don't stop now ... more children and women will die, and others get crippled for life. This war is bad," said 59-year-old Nyaken Gatnyoai, commenting on aerial bombardments by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

On March 14, her seven-year-old grandson, Mayiel Raan Yoach, lost his right arm after the SAF dropped bombs in Mayom County.

"Look at my grandchild, just seven years old," Ms. Gatnyoai said. "He has lost his arm from the SAF's bombardment. He doesn't know anything about the war but has been handicapped by the war."

Young Yoach lost his mother while she was giving birth to him, a death his grandmother blamed on the 21- year civil war between North and Southern Sudan. "There was no medication because fighting stopped doctors and donors from reaching our area," she said.

The young boy was one of six survivors to be evacuated from Mayom to Bentiu Hospital by UNMISS on 16 April.

"He is all I have and I wanted him to become someone meaningful to the society," his grandmother said. "But here he is with no right arm. Is there any future for him?"

Bentiu State Hospital Administrative Director Dr. Joseph Panyuan Puok said civilians were the predominant casualties of the on-going aerial bombardments. "What we are seeing since March 26 is civilians and civilian areas being the targets. This is not right. These people have suffered enough."

Dr. Puok made a passionate appeal to the UN and international community. "Let the international community pay attention to this conflict and stop the war."

He noted that medical supplies and capacity at Bentiu Hospital, which has been receiving the injured, were strained.