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MSF medical worker killed in Leer’s recent violence

MSF medical worker killed in Leer’s recent violence
Village burnt during the fighting in Leer county Unity State

Medical San Frontiers (MSF) says its senior staff Peter Mathor Tap was killed in Leer county’s recent violence that left dozens of civilians dead.

Federica Franco, MSF head of mission for South Sudan, said the staff was shot and killed while off duty on 10 April when fighting erupted in Leer.

“We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the tragic death of our colleague Peter. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends,” said Franco.

Mr. Franco said this is the second staff member who has been killed in Leer due to extreme violence since December 2021.

The latest violence in Leer County, Unity State, has resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians, including a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff member.

According to the MSF, the deceased has been working with the organization in Leer since 2007 as a senior department supervisor at the former MSF hospital and, more recently, as a nursing care provider in one of our community-based healthcare (CBHC) facilities.

Mr. Franco said Peter is a person with a disability that affected his ability to run away when the armed aggressors reached the area where he lived.

MSF says it condemns the indiscriminate violence by armed groups who have killed and injured many innocent people in Leer, including those most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

The Medical Charity NGOs further said its facility in Leer town had received more than 30 patients with gunshot wounds and several other trauma victims, including survivors of sexual violence.

“The level of atrocities witnessed, the persisting fear of being attacked, and the widespread destruction of medical facilities are severely affecting access to healthcare and even health-seeking behaviors, as people are reluctant to travel to search for treatment,” says Franco.

The insecurity resulting in the evacuation of several humanitarian organizations in Leer reported that the MSF clinic had remained one of the few fully functioning healthcare facilities in the entire county and the only one providing advanced emergency care.

According to the MSF, thousands of people displaced are in urgent need of humanitarian aid and medical care.

Franco calls on armed groups to respect international humanitarian law and immediately cease targeting civilians and health facilities.