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
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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in the Middle East

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Surveillance of Phones, Internet

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? 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.
Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assaulti
X
Daniel Schearf
August 29, 2014 9:30 PM
After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.

AppleAndroid