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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs