International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC mourns the loss of two staff members killed in South Sudan

The International Rescue Committee confirms with great sadness that two members of our South Sudan staff were killed last Thursday in a horrific attack on a U.N. base in the town of Bor, where thousands of civilians have sought shelter from escalating violence in the country.

The first, John Gatkouth, worked as a dispenser in the IRC health clinic. Three of his four young children were injured in the violence that took his life. The second victim was Mary Nyalou Chol, who worked as a cleaner in the IRC health clinic. She had been living in the town of Bor before seeking shelter at the U.N. base from the violence that erupted last December. She was killed as she tried to escape the attackers.

In addition, two South Sudanese health clinic employees were injured. The first, Gisma Bol, has been airlifted to Juba for additional treatment; the second, David Thuok, received initial care on site and is awaiting an airlift to another facility. Both are in stable condition.

“This is a profound loss for the IRC. Our thoughts are with the families of those who were killed and injured,” said the IRC’s president, David Miliband. “Our colleagues in the field often work in perilous situations, like Bor, in order to serve the most vulnerable people affected by conflict. It is a mark of the humanity and commitment of our staff that they devote themselves to those in need at such great risk to themselves.”

The IRC has been one of the largest providers of aid in South Sudan for over 20 years. Today we assist more than 800,000 people in the struggling new nation with health care, child survival and women’s protection programs. The agency also offers emergency support to families uprooted by fighting between South Sudan's government and opposition forces. At the U.N. base in Bor, the IRC provides vital health services to a growing population of displaced families caught in the deadly conflict.

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