News / Africa

Nearly 80,000 South Sudanese Flee Country

Displaced men rest in an improvised shelter at Tomping camp, where some 17,000 displaced people who fled their homes after violence erupted in South Sudan's capital Juba in mid-December are being sheltered by the United Nations, in Juba Jan. 10, 2014.
Displaced men rest in an improvised shelter at Tomping camp, where some 17,000 displaced people who fled their homes after violence erupted in South Sudan's capital Juba in mid-December are being sheltered by the United Nations, in Juba Jan. 10, 2014.

Multimedia

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

Joe DeCapua
The number of people fleeing South Sudan to neighboring countries continues to rise, as does the number of displaced people within the country. The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said it’s expects the situation to only get worse.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said more South Sudanese civilians are crossing borders to escape ongoing fighting and insecurity.

“At present, there are 78,000 people turning up at refugee sites in the surrounding region. 42,000 of these in Uganda, but we’re also seeing quite significant numbers in Ethiopia – some coming into Sudan, itself, the north – and others into Kenya, too. So, this is still a situation producing both internal displacement inside the country and new refugees into the region.”


The U.N. agency is gathering accounts of refugees’ experiences.

“If you talk to refugees, you hear eyewitness accounts of atrocities. You hear reports of shootings – of houses being burnt in many places. We are hearing of escalating food prices in many markets. So there are continued real problems around the country. And unfortunately all these factors are coming together and leading us to believe we’re likely at this stage to see further displacement still,” he said.

The number of displaced in South Sudan has risen sharply – up more than 150,000 since last week.

“The peace talks at the moment that are underway in Addis [Ababa] are not really producing any slowdown of displacement. You have large numbers of displaced – more than 350,000 inside the country – you have an existing refugee population of 230,000 people. So, you’re really talking about extraordinary large numbers of people in need of help,” Adrian said.

UNHCR is trying to determine the condition of those who’ve crossed into Sudan. However, gaining access to the region has been difficult.

“What we are hearing is that about 10,000 people have crossed into West and South Kordofan. These are two states just neighboring South Sudan. Many of these people are nomadic, so they’ve gone to different areas. The government of Sudan is saying only about 1300 of these people are actual refugees. Nonetheless, it’s very clear to us at present that there are urgent help needs there,” said Adrian.

UNHCR, the World Food Program, and other humanitarian agencies are trying to bring aid to those areas.

As Edwards mentioned, besides those fleeing the country and the internally displaced, there are 230,000 people from other countries at10 refugee camps in South Sudan. Some are of particular concern.

“Right up at the north there has been a large concentration of Sudanese refugees in a place called Yida. That has been affected by [in]security in recent weeks. Many of the agencies have pulled out of there. We have had the support of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan to deploy additional security up there to allow some of the operations to resume for the 60 or so thousand people in that site,” he said.

Besides Yida, another camp in Unity State housing Sudanese refugees –Ajoung Thok – is also expected to receive emergency food aid soon.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid