Press Release

NGO Opts To Silence IDPs Over Rape Cases To Secure Its Contract With South Sudan Government


Juba, Republic of South Sudan

Members of INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPs treating a patient. In South Sudan their work ethics is under scrutiny as the Salva Kiir regime loses tolerance of freedom of speech(Photo: file)
Members of INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPs treating a patient. In South Sudan their work ethics is under scrutiny as the Salva Kiir regime loses tolerance of freedom of speech(Photo: file)

Sept 10, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —- The International Medical Corps (IMC) is a humanitarian Organization that provides Primary Health Care services inside the UNMISS Protection of Civilian Sites in Juba 3. While speaking to the representatives from medical staff, Community Leadership, women and youth groups in PoC1 on the 5th of September, 2016, IMC Medical Director who, in the same time the Sites Manager for its health facilities in the camps- Dr. Meroni repeatedly cautioned Internally Displaced Persons sheltering inside the two camps over speaking flamboyant of the rapes cases and others human rights abuses through medias. This is due to what they (IMC) said to be “stiffness with government’’.

They urged that the government of South Sudan is raging blame on their organization because they are the one responsible for the daily medical reports of any incident including rape cases by government soldiers that appear to reproach the government.

According to Dr. Meroni, “the IMC shall likely relinquish its PHC services in the UNMIS/PoCs of Juba if IDPs continues the discourse of the rampant human rights abuse that counting from rapes and sexual assaults that reoccurring on daily-bases outside the UNMISS camps in Juba’’.

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“We don’t want to have tricky with government of South Sudan by permitting our Health Facilities to be used as a place for IDPs to reproach government for rapes and others human rights violations against women and children.” Dr. Meroni told IDPs in UNMISS/PoCs Sites in Juba.

“We are bound to observe corporation with government’s line ministry and the directorate in addressing all the issues that involved such sensitive cases.” Dr Dr. Meroni tressed saying that “IMC is a member of South Sudan Health Cluster which is chaired by the national Ministry of Health’’.

“Therefore, every single services that we are providing to you in the camps is subjected to monitoring and evaluation by the Ministry of Health.  Without cooperation between IMC and the later, we are likely to lose our contract and membership of the Cluster.” Meroni emphasizes.

The comment came in coincident with the visit of the UNSC 15 members to the IDPs Protection Sites and it cause serious concern and confusion amongst the IDPs communities.

The comment by senior IMC line manager have cause prevalent frustration to the victims and of course the whole IDPs community.

Many have said so because, according the IDPs, “we are not expecting  such a reckless cautionary from medical charity organization.”

They said “Instead, IMC as a humanitarian health provider, it’s supposed to exposes the evil acts by the government soldiers against the Nuer and others ethnic communities sheltering inside UN Base. It need instead to encourage victims of rapes to seek health and safety, not condoning the violations to safe their contract”

According to IDPs members who have spoken in various occasion, the outspoken IDPs remonstrated the demand by IMC trying to silent victims of human Rights abuses not to speak out about sexual violence, sexual assaults, and rapes, trafficking and so forth.

James Gatkuoth Rik, a senior Clinical Officer working with IMC Health Facility inside the camp said, it is very disturbance to hear the comment and, this is not the first time for IMC to warns IDPs over speaking out their grievances to the human Rights watch groups about violent against women and elderly that involving government soldiers and government-sponsoring militias around the UNMISS/Protection of Civilian Sites in Juba.

Mr. Yohanes Tut Ruon, the PoC1 ‘Community Leadership Chairman, whilst addressing IDPs community on the same matter, he said IMC has been frightening us to vacate the PoCs anytime when issues risen. Meanwhile, the warning is not new that make it more difficult to understand what motivate and/or convinced Health Cluster and approved permission and others resources to IMC to serve us (the IDPs) in this situation. We failed to buy in to a services from Humanitarian Agency which advocates for dispersal of Gender Bases Violence.  IMC has bad record working with vulnerable communities not only here in Juba, all the location that it occupied have similar complains.

According to the camp Chairman, Mr. Tut, it happened on date 8th, of July, 2016 when fighting erupted in Juba. We spent five or more days with no sign of IMC staff in their clinic. They all rune to either Nairobi or hidden in Juba. Only after Medicine San Frontier (MSF-France) intervened and set up emergency operation inside the camps, that IMC reappeared to the extent of baselessly accusing MSF of treating SPLA-IO wounded soldiers. Such allegation forced MSF to give up provision of emergency operation and left the wounded IDPs in a dire needs. Tut tresses.

Accordingly, IDPs community of PoC 1, 2 and 3 have been complaining and rising their concerns to the relevant authority starting from the IDPs community leadership and the camp management (ACTED) and others humanitarians Agencies about the failure of the International Medical Corp ( IMC) in health Service delivery.  For the meantime, the complains of the community are based on poor recruitment policy of the work-force.  IMC have got no medical personnel working in its clinics. It  is  locally  employed  Unqualified Health  Personnel  that  run  the  IMC  clinic  in  PoCs.

They  don’t employ  qualified  Clinical  Officers  and  community  health  workers within amongst  the  IDPs  community  or  outside  the  PoCs. Unqualified Community Health. Workers  employs  based  on friendship  and  appeasement  has  killed  the  service  and,  the IMC Clinics in PoCs became mortuary.

Their  intentions  for  cheap employment  mean  to  reduce  the  cost  for  human  resources payment.  Little information is unavailable regarding developments of IDPs health services in PoCs and there is no doubt that unfavorable health conditions, as well as problems of nutrition, have become increasingly serious in the camps.  Verified reports have been received regarding outbreaks of disease such as typhus fever, Measles and outbreaks of cholera. These diseases and other sickness incident to crowding and the interruption of sanitary measures are to be expected. As a community, our demand are simple that,

  1. Poor operation policy of the clinic by IMC that resulted in no effective directors and team leaders who facilitates the activities of those untrained clinical staff who IMC  employed  and  works  in OPD,  IPD,  EPD,  Nutrition  unite  and  amongst  the Community Health Information/Outreach Workers,
  1. Poor Medical suppliers of essential drug and equipment. Poor Surgery Department not functioning due to poor recruitment of Specialized Doctor.
  1. Weak public awareness on Epidemic Diseases/Air Bone Diseases, and Water Bone Diseases.
  1. The lack of psychosocial support and counseling services
  1. No  Ambulance  service  which  transport  patients  that  need emergence  care  from one camp to another. No proper care for IPD where an admitted patient take their medication. No beds, no feeding, no rooms and no qualified nurses for caring the Inpatients.
  1. Lack  of  stock  in  pharmacy  and,  the  only  few  anti-malaria drug  locally  supplies  are ending  in  local  market by those clinical officers  who are employing  by IMC local Human Resource Department

N.B.  IDPs  community  of  Juba  UNMISS  PoCs  being  subjected  to poor  health  services that results in an increasing death of children and elderly in IMC clinic, it happened for quite a month’s that, IMC declined to display the figure of how many are dying on daily bases.

These entire increasing problems obliged us to address the leadership and demand that, IMC need to its operational policy by revising its man-power (work-force) and not going on  with  unqualified  health workers  that  will  continuous  cause  increases  mortality.

Specialized physicians  to  heads  the  teams  in  various  departments,  well trained  Psycho-socio  workers,  trained  Midwifery,  and  trained nutritionists,  clear  recruitment  policy  a line with IDPs community leadership proposed modalities.

Meanwhile,  without  changes,  IDPs community  through  these  appeals  will  be  organize again IMC to leave with fact that, ‘’ Poor Health that increasing death is worse than no health services at all’’

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