South Sudan wildfire kills dozens of people

07 May 2019

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SOUTH SUDAN – At least 33 people have been killed by a wildfire in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal region, a spokesman for the country’s president has said.

Sixty people are also in a critical condition after the fire, which was fanned by gusty winds, gutted four villages on Sunday, Ateny Wek Ateny said.

“The injured are receiving medication which is not sufficient given the remote state of the area in which the incident has taken place,” Ateny said, at the state house on Monday evening.

On Tuesday, Mathok Wal, Lol State’s information minister, said the fire had also destroyed 138 houses in villages in Korok East County and killed 10,000 cattle.

South Sudan has been mired in conflict between the government and several rebel groups since December 2013. Sectors such as civil defence forces have little leverage on national budgets to finance firefighters at local levels of government.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced almost 4 million people from their homes, including more than a million refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries.

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