Efforts continue to manage the devastating aftermath of the violence waged against the people and infrastructure of the United Nations Protection of Civilians Camp in Malakal. Here at HDC, we are working hard to pick up the pieces and to resume our duties to these most vulnerable people whose lives have again been violently disrupted.
We are also frantically looking to find two of our staff members who have not been seen or heard from since the day of the clashes. Repeatedly, humanitarian aid workers and innocent, harmless civilians find themselves the victims of armed groups.
One of our priorities has been the retrieval of persons with special needs. Unable to flee the fighting, these people found themselves cut off from fleeing family. Upto 50,000 people fleeing unrest in north-eastern South Sudan had taken shelter inside the camp, attracted by its razor-wire ringed fence and patrols by U.N. troops. News reports claim at least 18 deaths, tens of injuries and the devastation of large sections of the camp.
Present efforts are focused on the old PoC site, but organisations including HDC are next embarking on conducting protection efforts inside Malakal town to which many IDPs fled during the violence. The camp is still heavily scarred and tense after the violence, and food distribution processes have to cope with IDPs fear of returning to sector 2 where much of the violence occurred.
On a day such as this, we salute the courage of our frontline staff whose resolve to stand with the vulnerable and weak exposes them to this great danger.
UPDATE: We are happy to report that the two staff members have been found safe and sound.