News / Africa

Rainy Season Worsening Situation for South Sudan Refugees

FILE - South Sudan refugees.
FILE - South Sudan refugees.
Marthe van der Wolf
South Sudan refugees have been crossing Ethiopia’s border in large numbers since the start of the conflict in December.  The International Organization for Migration is concerned about the rainy season and its impact on the refugees.

About 1,500 South Sudan refugees come into Ethiopia everyday, fleeing the violent conflict that has continued for six months.  

The International Organization for Migration is assist the refugees from the border to the camps.  An IOM spokesman, Alemayehu Seifeselassie says because of the start of the rainy season, transporting the refugees is becoming more challenging.

“The rainy season is coming and it is difficult because it affects the transport, it affects the road movement and its difficult because there is a large influx coming in every day and moving them requires constant effort and we have over 40 buses that we are working with," said Alemayehu. "And particularly on the roadside its get to be difficult.”

Fighting broke out in December in South Sudan after a political rift between President Salva Kirr and his former vice president Riek Machar.  More than 1.5 million people have been displaced within the country, but many also fled to neighboring countries Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.

More than 147,000 South Sudanese are in Ethiopia’s southwestern province of Gambella.  Once refugees cross the border, they are registered by UNHCR and transported by IOM to the refugee camps.

The camps are another one-day drive or 10-hour boat trip away.

The rising water level is not affecting transporting refugees by boat, but the rain is affecting road transportation.  Alemayehu says the rain will continue for the next months.
 
“So as the water level is rising, as the roads are being in need of repair, that will create a bit of difficulty to transporting the refugees to the camps," said Alemayehu. "The road was not good and it was under maintenance.  So as the road was under construction we had to use the boats.  So that was a bit challenging, the rain has made the transportation a bit difficult.”
 
There are four refugee camps in Gambella.  Two have been built high enough and will not be affected by the rainy season.  The other two camps might be affected.

The number of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia is expected to increase to 350,000 by the end of the year.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid