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

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora