Bombing forces MSF suspension in Sudan

A Médecins Sans Frontières hospital in South Kordofan, Sudan, was bombed Jan. 20, 2015. Photo by: GoogleMaps

International humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières has currently suspended its medical activities in the Nuba Mountains in Sudan after a hospital it runs was bombed this week.

An MSF staff member and a patient suffered injuries from the attack on the hospital in Frandala village in South Kordofan, where government troops and rebel forces are fighting. U.N. agencies and aid groups are still not allowed full access to the state, particularly in rebel-controlled territory.

MSF is aware of this, but argued the organization is there “with the consent of the local population and medical authorities in charge.”

MSF Head of Mission Marc Van der Mullen believes the hospital was deliberately targeted by the Sudanese Air Force to “terrorize the community.” The government, he argued, is fully aware of the hospital’s location and activities.

“With more than 100 patients present, we were very lucky not to have more casualties because people simply had no time to seek protection,” Van der Mullen said. “MSF again calls on Khartoum to respect assistance provided to the population.”

The official told Devex there was “limited” physical damage to the hospital, but they are suspending operations to not put more staff and patients at risk.

This is the second time the hospital was bombed in less than a year. One patient died and several were wounded after a bomb fell on the hospital in June. Van der Mullen said they did not receive any explanation nor response from the government regarding that incident.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.