• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 37s

Volunteers from South Sudan back in Alaska

By Alexis Fernandez 9:10 PM December 27, 2013

The group has just finished drilling several wells when violence erupted

ANCHORAGE - As the violence continues in South Sudan, thousands of volunteers who were evacuated as a safety precaution are headed to their respective homes, including one group of volunteers from Alaska.

When violence erupted in Juba — the country’s capital — nearly two weeks ago, Robert Crotty was part of the Alaska Sudan Medical Project helping in the village of Old Fangak.

The group had just finished drilling several wells when the day was disrupted.

“We were getting ready to go down river to visit villages about an hour away because they asked us to drill them some wells — we had some more time, when all hell broke loose,” Crotty said.

In Juba, about 300 miles south of the village, heavy gunfire began erupting between the Dinka and Nuer tribes.

Violence quickly spread to other villages, the closest to them was about 100 miles away.

“We’ve never felt like we were in harms way — we had good communication with the outside world,” Crotty said.

After several days, project leaders decided it was time to go.

“Made the decision, rightfully so, that it was important to pull us out before we were in harms way, which I’m very appreciative of,” he said.

But it wasn’t that easy. With the main airport in Juba closed, the group had to charter a plane from Uganda to bypass Juba. About eight hours later, they made it safely to Kenya, where a new group trying to get in was standing by.

Crotty said in the five years he’s been with ASMP, they’ve never had to leave.

“This is the first time for me, there’s been cattle raids and such where people went and sat at the airstrip just in case … but this is the first time of an evacuation of employees,” Crotty said.

He hopes the violence ends soon so they and thousands of other volunteers can get back to helping the South Sudanese people.

Latest Stories

  • Lifestyle

    High fashion meets Fur Rondy at Anchorage bar

    by Sierra Starks on Mar 01, 23:26

    There may be no sled dog races at this year’s Fur Rendezvous, but festival-goers can still see a few huskies at the Killjoy Tasting Room. Located in downtown Anchorage, near the intersection of Fourth Avenue and D Street, the fondue and wine bar is celebrating its first anniversary in the muni. And in that time, […]

  • Sports

    Iditarod committee moves Fairbanks restart to new location

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 01, 21:49

    Less than three weeks after moving the Iditarod restart from Willow to Fairbanks, the Iditarod committee is making yet another change. Organizers had planned to move the restart to the Chena River behind Pike’s Landing, but because of deteriorating conditions on the river the restart will be moved to Dale Road, a mile or two […]

  • Weather

    Weekend weather forecast

    by KTVA Weather on Mar 01, 18:43

    We saw a little bit of sun for the first day of March here in the Anchorage area. But a system is moving in from the North Pacific, meaning clouds will start to work back in Monday, and by Tuesday we’ll start to see a wintry mix entering the Southcentral. Snow is possible starting Wednesday […]

  • Crime

    Charging docs: Broken bottle used in East Anchorage stabbing

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Mar 01, 15:27

    The man accused of stabbing another man in an East Anchorage trailer Friday afternoon was arraigned Sunday in Anchorage. Kevin Campbell, 41, was taken into custody Saturday after the Anchorage Police Department couldn’t locate him at the scene Friday. Police say “a tip from an observant citizen” led to his arrest. Court documents show that on […]

  • News

    Blind dog rescued after being lost for 2 weeks in the cold

    by Associated Press on Mar 01, 12:03

    A blind dog who wandered away from her Ester home during a cold snap has been reunited with her owner. The 11-year-old Labrador retriever named Madera ventured away from home on Feb. 6, when the temperature dipped below 40 degrees. Her owner Ed Davis says he didn’t expect to find her alive. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner […]

  • Sports

    Slideshow: UAA sees blowout victory over Saints in home finale

    by KTVA Sports on Mar 01, 11:59

    In the final home game at the Alaska Airlines Center, the UAA men’s basketball team recorded a 101-67 victory over Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

  • News

    Marijuana hearing draws dozens to Anchorage Assembly chambers

    by Dave Leval on Mar 01, 11:45

    Anchorage resident Christopher Sutliff says he voted for the recreational use of marijuana. He now helps to come up with the regulations governing it. “The best way to reduce the black market and to make sure we have reasonable access is by keeping everything above board, and making it doable,” said Sutliff. That’s the message […]

  • News

    Officer struck by car while responding to shoplifting incident at South Anchorage Fred Meyer

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 28, 23:25

    An Anchorage police officer suffered a broken leg when he was struck by a car Saturday night as he attempted to stop a pair of shoplifting suspects from getting away. Just after 8:30 p.m., the Anchorage Police Department was called to the Dimond Boulevard Fred Meyer store in response to a shoplifting incident. Loss Prevention […]