News / Africa

100,000 Sudanese Displaced from Abyei

A machine gun-mounted truck manned by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) drive past burning businesses and homesteads in the center of Abyei, in this photograph released by the U.N. Mission in Sudan on May 28, 2011
A machine gun-mounted truck manned by members of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) drive past burning businesses and homesteads in the center of Abyei, in this photograph released by the U.N. Mission in Sudan on May 28, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Joe DeCapua

The U.N. refugee agency said more civilians are fleeing Sudan’s Abyei region. They began moving south after clashes between northern and southern forces over the oil-rich town on May 21. The Sudan Armed Forces from the north have been in control there since.

“In just a little bit over two weeks, we estimate that now there are about a hundred thousand people that are displaced, including the 77,000 that we have registered so far. So the numbers are quite large and the situation remains tense,” said UNHCR spokesperson Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba.

Where have they gone?

“The majority of the IDPs, internally displaced people, fleeing from around Abyei are heading to south Sudan, particularly in Warrap State, which is just adjacent to Abyei. And that’s where we have 68 percent of the displaced that have been registered so far,’ she said.

Most have gathered in the Turalei and Mayan Abun areas of Warrap State. The next biggest concentration of displaced is in the town of Agok, about 32 kilometers from Abyei.

“People have gone there despite the presence of armed civilians and military activities. We’re even seeing some people return to those areas because they feel that it’s relatively stable compared to when the fighting started,” said Lejeune-Kaba.

In need of much

Many of the displaced had little time to gather any food, water or possessions before they fled Abyei, “which leaves them in dire need of almost everything,” she said.

UNHCR is trying to address one of the biggest problems the IDPs face – a lack of shelter. The rush to leave also took a toll on families.

“We’re seeing a lot of children who, during the flight, were separated from their parents and they need to be reunified,” she said. “And we have been successful most of the time.”

A UNHCR team also found a woman who was five months pregnant, bleeding and in pain and took her to a hospital.

Harassment

Two elderly women have told UNHCR they were beaten by soldiers in Abyei before they fled.

“Also, in Agok, people [are] telling us that at night there are armed elements that cross from Abyei. That they shoot. They loot and they harassment people. So that’s worrying,” she said.

UNHCR is calling on both northern and southern forces to respect civilians and humanitarian workers and to refrain from further conflict that would trigger more displacement.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid