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

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs