More than a dozen hospital patients died in South Sudan after doctors and nurses were forced to flee heavy fighting between government and rebel forces, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.
A hospital in Kodok, in oil-producing Upper Nile state, was caught in the crossfire during clashes on July 5, Geneva-based ICRC said in a statement Friday. Two people, including a patient, were killed in the violence and 11 more have died later due to a lack of surgical expertise, it said.
“Given the generalized sense of insecurity prevailing in parts of Upper Nile state, we’ve temporarily suspended our medical mission in Kodok,” said Franz Rauchenstein, the head of ICRC’s delegation in South Sudan.
Fighting between government and rebel forces that erupted in the oil-rich nation in December 2013 has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced more than 2 million to flee their homes, according to the United Nations. The U.S. has urged South Sudan to immediately establish an interim government to halt the violence, National Security Security Advisor Susan Rice said in a statement on Thursday to mark the country’s fourth anniversary of independence from Sudan.