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

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora