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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid