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UN, Doctors’ Union Outraged Over Killing of Aid Doctor in South Sudan

May 25, 2021

By Deng Machol

Dr Louis Edward Saleh, working for the International Rescue Committee -IRC was reportedly killed in the Country’s oil – rich State

Juba – Last week,  Dr Louis Edward Saleh, South Sudanese medic worked for International Rescue Committee -IRC was reportedly killed in the Country’s oil – rich State.


Late Edward, described as a dedicated hard-working medical professional, was attacked and killed in a cold blood while deployed at the primary health care by the IRC at Panyijiar in Unity State.

The reason triggered the killing of medic remain uncertain.
Reacting to the incident, both UN and frontline doctors have demanded that the perpetrators are identified and held to account for the crime.


South Sudan Doctor’s Union have called for immediate accountability about the death of Dr. Edward. 
Doctor’s Union was saddened by criminal murdering of a medical facility saving lives in the remote village. 
They petitioned for speedy accountability of the culprit.

The Doctors Union has further given concerned authorities 72 hours to bring to book the perpetrators behind the killing of a staff working with the International Rescue Committee as he was providing health care to the vulnerable people. 

The doctors say they will go on strike and lay down their tools if the attackers are not arrested and prosecuted. 
This is not a first time, early this month, a medical worker, Amono Anna Clara, a staff of Cordaid International, was killed in Eastern Equatoria State. 

The acting chairman of the Doctors Union, Dr. Anthony Garang, is demanding better protection for medical professionals providing life-saving assistance across the country.

The medical fraternity said, was so disappointed in the state authority’s silence over an incident, which they said attitude ignored the repeated call for protection of health workers. 

Doctors warned that “they will not tolerate violence against health workers at their watch” as they were frustrated by brutal incidents.

“SSDU will consult with all doctors, NGOs, and authorities on options to boycott or withdraw from any State or community that shows hostility towards medical professionals and to agree on new terms and conditions for deployment of health personnel to provide services at community levels.” Doctors stated. 

On the other hand, the UN humanitarians Coordinator in South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou, strongly condemns the brutal killing of an aid worker, describes it as a “horrific” attack against humanitarian.

Noudéhou says a humanitarian’s convoy, including an ambulance, was also attacked in a separate incident on the same day, a few kilometers away, in Koch county, Unity State.

The Country’s Doctors Union has given concerned authorities 72 hours to bring to book the perpetrators behind the killing of a staff working with the International Rescue Committee as he was providing health care in Ganyiel, Unity State.

The doctors say they will go on strike and lay down their tools if the attackers are not arrested and prosecuted.
 

“I am appalled by this horrific news of another act of violence against humanitarians in South Sudan. The South Sudanese Doctor working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) was killed inside a health facility in Ganyliel Payam. Almost at the same time, an IRC’s convoy, including an ambulance, carrying 10 aid workers was shot by unknown gunmen Koch,” said Noudéhou in the statement.

Meanwhile, the youth groups said they were deeply dismayed by the unfortunate death of a humanitarian worker who had been “treating and resuscitating the lives” of the vulnerable populace in this challenging time.
They said his death is a profound loss to not only his family but also to the Panyijiar health sector and the globe, especially during this tough COVID-19 pandemic times.”

“We strongly urge the authorities in Panyijiar and Ganyliel in particular to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of this medical Doctor,” said youth group. Doing so appropriately will bar the associated guilt and ghost that might trouble Panyijiar in future and ultimately provide meaning to the deserved legacy of Dr. Louis.”

However, Panyijiar County Commissioner William Gatgiek Mabior quoted said investigations underway, and govt will reveal the fact-finding triggered his death.

According to the UN, at least two aid workers were killed in South Sudan in 2021 and another nine in 2020. 
A total of 126 humanitarians, mostly South Sudanese, have lost their lives while providing critical assistance to people across the country since the country’s five year conflict broke out in late 2013.

The South Sudan Doctors Union further called on President Salva Kiir to intervene by holding accountable state authorities who violate the right of health workers.

“We also call on the revitalized government to enact laws that protect the right of all health workers in the country,” Dr. Garang added.

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