News / Africa

86,000 Flee South Sudan in Past Month

A picture shows an aerial view of a camp of internally displaced people in Minkammen, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Bor, Jan. 10, 2014.
A picture shows an aerial view of a camp of internally displaced people in Minkammen, 25 kilometres (16 miles) south of Bor, Jan. 10, 2014.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to De Capua report on South Sudan refugees and displaced persons

Joe DeCapua
About 86,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries to escape fighting and insecurity. The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, plans to open new camps – and expand existing ones – in Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards says the number of people fleeing South Sudan continues to grow.

“We’re looking at at least a thousand people crossing borders into neighboring countries per day over the last week. Those numbers have risen sharply. We have in the region just over the last month about 86,000 South Sudanese refugees. By the end of January it could exceed a hundred thousand and it could continue rising from there unless we see a change inside South Sudan itself.”

While UNHCR is very experienced in setting-up camps, Edwards said, the rapidly rising number of refugees has made the situation even more urgent.

He said, “Uganda is at present bearing the brunt of this. There are more than 46,000 South Sudanese refugees now in Uganda. And there are real problems there in trying to address their need -- enormous congestion at a transit center near the border -- real problems there getting enough water for people. We’ve had reports even of people trying to rent spaces – would you believe it – beneath trees just simply to find somewhere to be. So, there’s real pressure on there to try and get these people out of these reception areas and into somewhere more permanent, at least for the time being.”

There are over 20,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia – nearly 9,000 in Kenya and about 10,000 in Sudan.

“If you’re crossing into Sudan from South Sudan right now you’re potentially moving into a region where there has been conflict. And this is primarily the Kordofan states and also the East Darfur area. We don’t have the access we would like to these areas, so it’s hard to monitor and assess needs closely,” said Edwards.

UNHCR is working with local NGOs to help those crossing into Sudan.

“If you’re fleeing into a neighboring conflict zone from South Sudan, really it’s a very sad reflection of just how difficult the situation in South Sudan itself is,” said Edwards.

U.N. humanitarian officials estimate the number of displaced people in South Sudan to be around 460,000. About 67,000 of them have taken refuge at bases of the U.N. mission, UNMISS.

“We’re trying there to deal with some of the problems that arise in a conflict situation,” said Edwards, “For example, sexual gender violence, the other kind of protection issues you can imagine in the situation you have at the moment in South Sudan. We’ve had reports, for example, of a thousand people for a single latrine. You can imagine the pressure and the risks there are for security in that environment and for health in that environment.”

The U.N. refugee agency says it needs 88-million dollars to respond to the South Sudan crisis, including the opening of new camps in neighboring countries.

You May Like

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. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
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 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 Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid