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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs