MSF loses track of 130 staff members in Pibor

Médecins Sans Frontières flag. Photo by: Athena McKown

Danger seems to be tailing the international humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières. On Saturday (Dec. 31), it lost contact with 130 of its staff members in Pibor county, Jonglei state, South Sudan.

Members of the Lou Nuer ethnic group set fire on houses and attacked villages of the Murle community in Pibor. The MSF clinic, the only one in Pibor, has been looted, damaged and set on fire.

MSF head of mission in South Sudan Parthesarathy Rajendran told news agencies the organization believes its staff members have fled into the bushes along with thousands of civilians to escape and that their precise whereabouts are unknown. He said MSF has only been able to get in touch with 13 of its members.

“MSF is deeply concerned about their safety,” the organization’s statement said.

Just last August, MSF staff members have also been sandwiched in attacks in the town of Pieri, also in Jonglei state. The organization’s compound and clinic in the area were also looted, and parts of the MSf facilities were burned down.

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About the author

  • 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.