09-04-2018 | Latest News , Africa

"My Children Were Shot"

ENG

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is gravely concerned that South Sudan’s civil war continues to fuel horrific levels of violence in which civilians are injured and killed and property vital to their safety and survival is destroyed.

“My wife was shot,” said Ruey. “My children were shot…I was also shot. All of us became vulnerable.”

Ruey, his wife Nyalual, and two of their children were all injured by gunfire when fighting flared around their village near Nassir in February. One of the children—a seven-year-old boy—died as a result of the gunshot wound.

Ruey and his family members were among 44 patients who the ICRC evacuated by air earlier this year from Nassir to its field hospital in Ganyliel, South Sudan. One-third of them were women and children. Most of the injuries were gunshot wounds that required the care of ICRC’s surgical teams. For Nyalual, her leg could not be saved and she required on amputation.

“What you see a lot is bullet wounds, big injuries, mostly in the legs,” said Guido Serge Verslout, a physiotherapist for the ICRC based in Ganyliel. “Most of the wounds…were already infected…We had to do a lot of debridement to clean the wounds, heal the fractures.”

The conflict is also destroying civilian property and livelihoods—causing forced displacement and leaving people vulnerable to hunger and disease. As a result, food insecurity is widespread, with more than five million people in South Sudan estimated to be facing life-threatening levels hunger, according to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification.

Nyalual, who is now recovering at ICRC’s newly opened field hospital in Udier, says she is uncertain what she and her family will do to feed themselves when they return home. “The international community are the ones with the idea to give us food,” said Nyalual. “Without this food, we gather wild fruits and leaves, but now this food has [also] finished.”

So far this year, the ICRC has evacuated 180 people with war injuries. This follows an extremely volatile year in which the ICRC evacuated 834 war-wounded people and treated 1,685 patients in ICRC-supported hospitals. This was twice the number evacuated with war wounds in 2016.

The ICRC is fighting hunger in South Sudan by providing food rations and distributing seeds, farming tools, fishing kits, and other activities such as cattle vaccination that help families feed themselves and restore their livelihoods.

“There is no way we can leave a country like this and its population,” said Celine Degen, ICRC’s Head of Office in Ganyliel. “There are needs. They need to be addressed and as long as peace cannot be established, we cannot have proper services rendered by the authorities or even development agencies that may come longer term. There is absolutely a need for ICRC to be here.”

Download this footage from ICRC Video Newsroom
www.icrcvideonewsroom.org

For further information, please contact:

Mari Mortvedt, ICRC Juba, +211 912 360 038
Crystal Wells, ICRC Nairobi, +254 716 897 265
Aurélie Lachant, ICRC Geneva, +41 79 244 64 05

Follow the ICRC on facebook.com/icrc and twitter.com/icrc

SHOTLIST

Location: Ganyliel and Udier, South Sudan
Length: 04:00
Format: HD 1920 x 1080
ICRC ref: AV841N
Filming date: 21-22.02.2018 (Ganyliel) and 18.03.2018 (Udier)
Copyright: ICRC access all
Photograph details: Ganyliel, South Sudan; 21-22 February 2018; Photographers Mari Mortvedt and Crystal Wells, ICRC; Full caption and credit information in metadata

Date: March 2018, Udier, South Sudan

00.00 SOUNDBITE, Ruey, Patient
My wife was shot, my children were shot. A child coming after that boy was killed immediately and I myself was also shot. All of us became vulnerable.

00.14 – 00:21 SOUNDBITE, Nyalual, Patient
Our lives are difficult and hard, because we are in a violent situation.
00:21 – 00:26: The international community are the ones with the idea to give us food.
00:26 – 00:33: Without this food, we gather wild fruits and leaves, but now this food have (also) finished.

Date: February 2018, Ganyliel, South Sudan

00:33 Nyalual with right leg amputation in a hospital bed

00:51 Nyalual with right leg amputation moving with walker

01:04 SOUNDBITE, Guido Versloot, ICRC physiotherapist
“There was a big fight pretty far from here, so all the patients had to be flown into here. They arrived in a hospital there, so we could go there and select the worst case patients to come here first. What we see a lot is bullet wounds, big injuries, mostly in the legs.”

01:25 “A lot of the wounds before they were treated were already infected. They were getting dirty, so we had to do a lot of debridement to clean the wounds, heal the fractures. Some people only had wounds. Other people also had fractures.”

01:43 Nyalual with right leg amputation walking with stretcher

02:08 Patient walking between medical tents

02:22 Female patient resting in hospital bed

02:31 Nurse Natacha Roue administers medicines to Ruey (wide)

02:39 Nurse Laura Duggan checks female patient with recent leg amputation

02:52 South Sudan Red Cross volunteer hands out bread to patients in medical tent

03:04 Timothy Sveinbjornson gives patient anaesthesia for surgery to close gunshot wound to his calf (tight)

03:14 Surgeon Arif Assad and OR nurse Florence Douet perform surgery to close gunshot wound to a male patient’s calf

Date: March 2018, Udier, South Sudan

03:21 Woman braids girls’ hair with arm cast girl with full leg cast rests outside medical tent in Udier

Date: February 2018, Ganyliel, South Sudan

SOUNDBITE, ICRC base manager for Ganyliel, Celine Degen

03:32 “There is no way we can leave a country like this and its population. There are needs. They need to be addressed and as long as peace cannot be established, we cannot have proper services rendered by the authorities or even development agencies that may come longer term. There is absolutely a need for ICRC to be here.”

03:49 ICRC flag above compound in Ganyliel, South Sudan

Duration : 4m
Size : 434.7 MB
On Screen Credit: ICRC or logo

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