The uniformed men of the (South) Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) raided UN stores in Pibor town in troubled state of Jonglei late on Saturday and Sunday, international news agency AFP reported on Sunday.
They also looted a hospital and premises of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and “flattened” premises of the Italian humanitarian aid organization INTERSOS.
“The SPLA (army) went to INTERSOS and looted things there and then went to the World Food Programme and looted,” said Beko Konyi, the coordinator for the state-run Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Pibor.
An eyewitness working for MSF said that, “All the items from MSF are looted, everything, drugs and all the assets, and again INTERSOS.”
“MSF is deeply concerned about reports we are receiving that our health center in Pibor town has been looted today,” said Vikki Stienen, the MSF head of mission in South Sudan, adding, “We suspended medical activities in Pibor town on April 19 as the security situation had made it impossible to provide impartial medical care there.”
He stated that the population of Pibor relied almost entirely on MSF for medical services before the suspension.
“We know that the consequences for the population of the loss of access to healthcare are devastating,” he noted.
Many international aid workers left Pibor on Friday over concerns of possible attacks.
South Sudanese military spokesman Philip Aguer said he did not have any knowledge of the attacks.
“Why would they go and do that? I doubt these are SPLA soldiers. These may be rebels,” he said.
Sudan accuses South Sudan of supporting anti-government rebels operating in the Darfur region and the states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
South Sudan seceded from the Republic of Sudan on July 9, 2011, after decades of conflict with the north. The new oil-rich nation is one of the least developed countries in the world, with one in seven children dying before the age of five.