World Bulletin/News Desk
Rebel forces loyal to South Sudan's sacked vice president, Riek Machar, have reportedly ransacked and burned the main hospital in Duk County in Jonglei State, the only working hospital in the area.
"The rebels attacked on Sunday and fought with the youth up to today," Duk County MP Thon Leek Deng told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
He said two civilians, a man and a woman, had been killed in the attack so far.
"They burnt the hospital, looted all the medicine and set fire to tractors belonging to the World Food Program that were in the compound," the lawmaker added.
"What they did was utterly shocking to us: burning the hospital, destroying and burning medicine, documents and generators and taking away the solar [diesel fuel] in the compound," Deng said.
"This hospital was funded by an America organization. They paid $3 million to put it up and it serves a big number of people in treatment and operations, including eye operations," the legislator explained.
"People were being transported to the hospital and back to their areas by the hospital car, which they [the rebels] burnt," he added. "This was a hospital, which even feeds patients."
Deng accused the rebels of deliberately targeting hospitals.
"You can't say it's an accident because in Bentiu they did the same, and also in Malakal when they attacked those places," he charged.
When rebels captured the area last week, according to Deng, tribal chief Chuei Leek pleaded with them not to torch the hospital facility that serves the area.
"But they did the contrary and what they've created today is difficult to mend," he lamented. "This is a very difficult situation."
MP Deng said the rebels had been camped in the county since February 26, with no action taken by the Sudan People's Liberation Army.
"It's only the youths who have been fighting them; no reinforcements have come from the army," he fumed.
"It looks as if they've been abandoned, yet this is a war not of the youth but the government," Deng added.
He went on to note that the rebels had stepped up their attacks in recent days.
"This month, the youths have been putting pressure on them [the rebels] by raiding their bases at night," he said.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since mid-December, when President Salva Kiir accused Machar of attempting to overthrow his regime.
The conflict has already claimed more than 10,000 lives, while the UN estimates that some 3.7 million people in South Sudan are now "severely food insecure" and more than 820,000 have been displaced.
Following a month-long, IGAD-sponsored first round of talks in Addis Ababa, the warring rivals signed a cessation of hostilities agreement in January.Last Mod: 10 Mart 2014, 15:42