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INVESTIGATIVE: The death of Dr. Louis Edward Saleh, a homicide or a suicide!

“it is well stated here with posted Vials and surgical blade for anesthesia ,he injected himself with local anesthesia and later cut [his throat] without feeling pain, from there he bled to death

Juba, South Sudan.

May 23rd, 2021 – A controversial report emerging from Ganyliel Payam of Panyijiar county in Unity State confirms the untimely death of Dr. Luis Edward Saleh, a humanitarian medical doctor working for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), who died on Friday, May 21st, 2021.

Late Dr. Luis Edward Saleh, a medical professional who was found dead inside a medical facility in Ganyliel, Panyijiar, Unity State, South Sudan(Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)
Late Dr. Luis Edward Saleh, a medical professional who was found dead inside a medical facility in Ganyliel, Panyijiar, Unity State, South Sudan(Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)

According to earlier report that was published by The Mail and local media pages on social media,  Dr. Luis Edward was killed by a group of unidentified youth who dragged him out of Ganyliel PHCC where he has been providing health services to woman and children in the payam.

“It’s alleged that the deceased was dragged from the medical center by unknown young men who later killed him in cold blood. UN has in the past named South Sudan among the most dangerous places for humanitarian workers to operate in.” The Mail report reads.

The death of Dr. Luis came barely a few days after Pastor Peter Lokai of African Inland Church of Torit was lured out of his house after midnight in Torit by unidentified gunmen who immediately sprayed him with bullets both in the chest and also in the legs.  Pastor Peter later succumbed to gunshots in the hospital.

The death of Dr. Luis reminds South Sudan Doctors’ Union of the death of their colleague, Ms. Amono Anna Clara, a nurse working in Torit Hospital who was shot dead along Torit road last month and harrassment of health officers in different parts of the country.

South Sudan Doctor Union Reaction

Responding to media reports, South Sudan Doctors’ Union (SSDU) condemns what they believe was an intentional killing of their colleague and threaten to protest within 72 hours if the perpetrators are not brought to book.

“The South Sudan Doctors’ Union (SSDU) is deeply saddened on the killing of our member, Dr.  Louis Edward Saleh in Ganyiel village in Unity State. The entire medical fraternity sympathizes  with and sends condolences to his family and relatives.” SSDU said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia

“Dr. Louis, a medical staff working at Ganyiel PHCC under IRC was killed in cold blood within the facility on 21 May 2021. Last month,  Ms. Amono Anna Clara, a nurse working in Torit Hospital was shot dead along Torit road. The  SSDU strongly condemns these brutal killings of health professionals who dedicated their lives to  serve communities in Unity and Eastern Equatoria States.” The SSDU reports continued.

According to the Doctors’ Union, several humanitarian and health workers have been threatened, beatened, arrested, detained, tortured or killed in Lake State, Ruweng Administrative Area, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Western Bahr el Ghazal States.

“In the recent months, several humanitarian and health workers have been threatened, beaten,  arrested, detained, tortured or killed in Lakes State, Ruweng Administrative Area, Northern Bahr  el-Ghazal and Western Bahr el-Ghazal States.” SSDU reports conitnued.

“The entire medical fraternity is disappointed in  State authorities for their silence and ignoring repeated calls for protection of health workers. The  SSDU and allied professionals will not tolerate violence against health workers at your watch.” The doctors further claim.

Because on these incidents, SSDU has issued a 72-hour ultimatum for the state authorities to investigate the killings and bring culprits before a competent court of law.  

“The SSDU and its entire membership are giving a 72-hour ultimatum to State authorities to  investigate the killings and bring culprits before a competent court of law. If nothing happens within this period, all doctors and allied professionals are prepared to lay down their tools and go  on strike to demand for justice and protection of health workers.” SSDU ultimatum reads,

Eyewitnesses Testimonials – what really happened?

According to the residents, eyewitnesses and some who claim to be friends of late Dr. Luis, the humanitarian medical doctor might have committed a suicide.

According to multiple testimonies Nyamilepedia has seen but could not verify,  Dr. Luis Edward wrote two letters, attached below, one in Arabic and another in English, and was allegedly in possession of tools that he might have used to commit suicide.

“The news that claimed Dr. Louis Richard (Kenyan National) got killed in Ganyliel Payam of Payinjiar County last evening 21st/05/2021 at 6pm Central Africa Time was untrue. Dr. Luis slaughtered himself inside toilet room at Women Delivery Center for a reason known to him according to the report from the IRC workers and community members. Nyuong and all NUER are waiting for a final report from County Health Department.” Said Gatluak Bakhan Teny, a former legal advisor in the state.

“This is among the various fake news being spread without restriction on the Internet. These fake writings are aiming at causing rifts within the society, deepening communal hatred and promoting political agenda. My sincere condolences to his immediate family, working mates and friends for losing him so early. May his soul rest in peace.” Gatluak Bakhan Teny continued.

According to another testimony, Dr. Luis allegedly wrote two letters and later stabbed himself using a surgery blade.

“He is my friend here in Ganyliel and equatorian from Wau. The truth is ,he stabbed himself using a surgery blade, other evidences include two letters written by him placed on his pillow (one in Arabic & one in English), syringe with benezine on bed ,gloves etc … May his soul rest in Perfect Peace.”  Said Pargol Rueben Gai Both, another witness.

“it is well stated here with posted Vials and surgical blade for anesthesia ,he injected himself with local anesthesia and later cut [his throat] without feeling pain, from there he bled to death” Said another witness, Simon Makuom David

“Exactly Gatdàkàr,Dr Luis was our best friend who helped our community for longtime,no one could killed him,those who posted fake information will one day regret when final result will be out from Juba.” Said another witness, Peter Lam Keat

Whether the death of Dr. Luis Edward is a homicide or a suicide remains to be concluded; however, South Sudan has had numerous cases of assassinations, killing and displacement of innocent civilians and humanitarian workers have not been spared.

According to the ambassador of the United Kingdom to South Sudan, Jonney Boxter, South Sudan is one of the most hazardous places in the world to be when you’re a humanitarian worker.

” South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a humanitarian worker,  targeting those delivering life saving aid, is unacceptable, a violation of the international law and a blow against the poorest and most vulnerable South Sudanese “, UK Ambassador Boxter said.”

Many South Sudanese on social media have sympathized with the family of late Dr. Luis and prayed for his soul to rest in peace.

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