News / Africa

    UN: More than 31,000 South Sudanese Have Fled Country

    • Refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into Uganda, settle in the village of Ochaya, Jan. 7, 2013.
    • Refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into Uganda rest and await transportation from a transit center in Koboko, Jan. 6, 2014.
    • Refugees who fled the recent violence in South Sudan and crossed the border into Uganda await transportation from a transit center in Koboko, Jan. 6, 2014.
    South Sudan Refugees and Displaced
    At least 31,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighboring countries to escape deadly clashes that erupted in the world's newest nation more than three weeks ago, the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR) said Tuesday.

    The bulk of the refugees  have gone to Uganda and continue to cross into the country at the rate of 2,500 a day, UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters.

    "As of Monday, 23,546 South Sudanese refugees had arrived in Uganda," she said.

    The arrivals from South Sudan come on top of thousands of refugees who are fleeing to Uganda from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    "UNHCR and our partners are struggling to provide enough water and adequate sanitation at transit centres and at reception centres in the Arua and Adjumani districts of the West Nile region, in northwestern Uganda," Fleming said.

    Smaller numbers of South Sudanese refugees have fled to other neighbouring countries including Ethiopia, where more than 5,300 refugees from South Sudan have been registered and Kenya, where 300 South Sudanese arrive daily at Kakuma refugee camp.

    Sudan has also taken in several hundred, "and perhaps several thousand" refugees from South Sudan, Fleming said.


    Hundreds of thousands displaced inside South Sudan


    The UNHCR is providing services to some 230,000 refugees at 10 refugee camps insdie South Sudan, and the U.N. Mission in the country (UNMISS) is providing protection for some 62,000 people who have sought refuge at U.N. compounds. 

    Nearly half of the internally displaced persons are sheltering at two U.N. facilities in Juba, where fighting first erupted on Dec. 15 and where U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq said the situation remains tense.

    UNMISS "also reports continued instability and fighting in a number of locations, including around Bor and in areas in Unity State," Haq told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York.


    Fighting, gunfire, explosions near Bor


    "In Jonglei State, the Mission reports fighting south of Bor and sporadic gunfire in the vicinity of its compound. It also says that a number of explosions have been heard this morning, southeast of the city," Haq said.

    An UNMISS patrol in Unity State reported that "most villages along the road from Mayom Junction to Pariyang appeared burnt or looted," Haq said, adding that local officials have reported "severe food, water and shelter shortages" to UNMISS.

    Fighting broke out in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, on Dec. 15 when renegade soldiers attacked an army headquarters building.

    President Salva Kiir said the violence in Juba was a failed coup bid by former Vice President Riek Machar, but Machar has consistently denied the charges.

    The United Nations has said at least 1,000 people have died in the fighting, which has gone on for more than three weeks.

    The two sides sent delegations to peace talks in Addis Ababa late last week.

    Head of the rebel delegation in Addis Ababa, Taban Deng Gai, left, and the leader of the South Sudanese government's delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.Head of the rebel delegation in Addis Ababa, Taban Deng Gai, left, and the leader of the South Sudanese government's delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
    x
    Head of the rebel delegation in Addis Ababa, Taban Deng Gai, left, and the leader of the South Sudanese government's delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
    Head of the rebel delegation in Addis Ababa, Taban Deng Gai, left, and the leader of the South Sudanese government's delegation, Nhial Deng Nhial, attend the opening ceremony of peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 4, 2014.
    After holding preliminary negotiations over the weekend with mediators, the warring factions on Tuesday began what chief mediator, Ethiopian diplomat Seyoum Mesfin, called "substantive" talks on a ceasefire and the status of 11 senior political leaders who were detained by the government in the days after the unrest began.

    It was unclear if the delegates to the talks made progress toward resolving either issue and restoring peace in South Sudan.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora