Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) strongly condemns the brazen armed robbery of one of our medical teams and the burning of two of our vehicles on the road outside Yei, South Sudan, on the morning of 28 February 2022. Due to this incident, we had to immediately suspend our movements to support health facilities outside Yei, compromising access to urgently needed medical care for tens of thousands of people.
“We are deeply shocked by this unacceptable attack on the delivery of neutral and impartial humanitarian aid to communities in need,” said Sandra Lamarque, MSF operational coordinator. “Following the attack, our outreach movements in the communities surrounding Yei have been suspended until appropriate security conditions can be restored, which would allow us to safely continue our rescue work.”
At around 9:15 a.m., seven staff wearing MSF identification and traveling in two clearly marked MSF vehicles were heading to Minyori on the Yei-Maridi road. They would support the treatment of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea – three of the leading causes of child death in South Sudan.
Prior to their arrival, the medical team were stopped by a large group of armed men and forced at gunpoint out of their vehicles. They were taken into the bush, where a group of civilians were also being held by the armed group. Our team was threatened and robbed of MSF property and personal effects.