UNMISS evacuates injured after Mayom clashes

2 Nov 2011

UNMISS evacuates injured after Mayom clashes

30 October 2011 - UNMISS today began evacuating civilians injured during a rebel militia attack on Mayom, Unity State, to the capital Bentiu.

"UNMISS has evacuated wounded civilians requiring urgent medical treatment to the UN hospital in Bentiu," said UNMISS Spokesperson Aleem Siddique.

UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer Kwame Dwamena-Aboagye said 10 injured people, including a woman and child, had been evacuated today and an additional 30 were to follow on Monday. The rest were to be flown to Bentiu on Wednesday.

Most of the injured were out of danger, but could fall prey to serious infections from their bullet wounds," Mr. Dwamena-Aboagye said. Those with life threatening injuries were being given priority.

According to government sources, rebel South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) militia members attacked Mayom on 29 October, where they clashed with the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and South Sudan Police Services, who drove out the rebels.

UNMISS dispatched a team to the area the next day. "An UNMISS integrated team of civilian experts, medical staff and peacekeepers was dispatched to the area on 30 October to provide support to the local authorities in responding to the situation," Spokesperson Siddique said.

Visiting Mayom town, the team said the conflict had left over nine civilians dead and more than 45 injured. The situation was now calm and under government control.

State Minister of Information and Communications Gideon Gatpan Thoar confirmed that casualties included civilians, adding that the attack was perpetrated by six militia leaders, including James Gai Yoach.

While the actual cause of the attack remains unclear, it came less than 48 hours after a statement issued by the SSLA demanded that the UN and non-governmental organizations leave Unity State. The letter also accused the Unity State government of human rights abuses.

Minister Thoar denounced the threats and assured residents that government forces had repelled the SSLA from Mayom.