News / Africa

Thousands of Refugees Moved From South Sudanese Border

A woman carries water from a water hole near Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, March 10, 2012.A woman carries water from a water hole near Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, March 10, 2012.
x
A woman carries water from a water hole near Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, March 10, 2012.
A woman carries water from a water hole near Jamam refugee camp in South Sudan's Upper Nile State, March 10, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
GENEVA - The U.N. refugee agency has moved thousands of Sudanese refugees from crowded transit sites in northern South Sudan to newer camps away from border areas. The refugees were relocated to their new homes following several deaths.

The U.N. refugee agency says the weekend emergency relocation began after food and other relief items had been distributed to all 32,000 Sudanese refugees sheltering in the border transit site of Hofra. It says the refugees are currently in another transit site called Kilo 18 and will remain there until they can be relocated permanently in a new camp in Upper Nile state.

South Sudan is hosting more than 150,000 refugees who have fled fighting and severe food shortages in Sudan's South Kordofan and Blue Nile States, where rebels are fighting Sudanese government forces.

UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said more than 112,000 of these are in Upper Nile state and more than 50,000 others are in settlements further west in Unity state.

"The accounts we are hearing from refugees speak of large groups of people being close to the border area and potentially about to move across into Upper Nile State," he said. "We are obviously concerned both about the situation of safety that those refugees are in, but also about the additional strains this is putting on a relatively unsupported and extremely difficult environment to work in." 

The UNHCR reports up to 15,000 new refugees could enter Upper Nile state shortly.  Last week, the private aid agency Doctors Without Borders reported seven deaths among recent arrivals at Hofra, which is about 25 kilometers from the border with Sudan.  

The refugees had been walking for weeks from Blue Nile state with little to eat or drink. Aid workers believe the deaths of the seven Sudanese refugees may be related to their weakened condition after they arrived.

Adrian Edwards described the environment as inhospitable, saying aid agencies are faced with two main difficulties in efforts to assist the growing number of refugees.

"Water is the overwhelming concern for us," said Edwards. "We simply, at the moment, cannot drill fast enough to get water for the people there. That is a super-urgent need and finding answers to that is a daily struggle for us at the moment. The other difficulty is physically moving people. Rains have just started there. That makes roads difficult to cross. So, you have the factors of difficult to move people, not enough water, there are too many people there to be able to support. And you can see why we are concerned about the situation." 

Edwards says the UNHCR is working with South Sudanese authorities and local communities to identify additional refugee sites where water could be drawn from the Nile.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid