News / Africa

US Tells Sudanese Rebel Group to Stop Recruiting Refugees

Hannah McNeish
The U.S. has called on a Sudanese rebel group to stop recruiting soldiers, including children, from a refugee camp in South Sudan.  A U.S. official says the camp must be moved further from the border to protect civilians from the military presence.  
 
Anne Richard, the assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration, says the U.S has told the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) to leave Yida refugee camp in South Sudan’s Unity state, and to stop recruiting civilians to fight the Sudanese government.
 
“Our messages to them are really about the civilian nature of the camp, and we have asked them to not use the camp, which is supposed to be civilian, as a center for R&R or for recruitment of soldiers, and especially we’ve asked that they not take children to serve as soldiers on the other side of the border," she said. 
 
Richard said that the U.S delegation visiting Yida on Monday saw how militarized the camp of more than 60,000 people had become, despite a reported drop in recruitment recently.
 
“There were uniformed military in the camp, and we saw them, and that’s not the way refugee camps for civilian are supposed to be run.  We had in mid-to-late September trusted reports that recruitment was going on.  My understanding is that some of that has subsided," she said. 
 
The SPLM-N, which supported south during decades of civil war in Sudan, started fighting Khartoum once again around the time of South Sudan’s secession in July 2011.  Most of the fighting was in South Kordofan state at first before spreading to Blue Nile state.
 
South Sudan denies that it is still supporting the rebels, while Khartoum has denied accusations that it has bombed the refugee camp, which is calls a rear base for the rebels.
 
SPLM-N spokesperson Arnu Ngutulu said the allegations about recruitment at the camp were not true, and asserted that Khartoum was behind the claim.
 
The United Nations refugee agency has wanted to move the Yida camp for months, as it is much closer than the recommended 50 kilometers away from the area of fighting.
 
This prevents aid agencies from delivering long-term services such as education that Richard says refugees are demanding.
 
“What we would like to see, is the mothers and children moved to a much safer location, where we can provide a lot more education, a lot more skills training, get them away from this dangerous area," she said. 
 
Over 175,000 refugees have fled more than a  year of fighting and hunger in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.  Most have gone to South Sudan or Ethiopia.
 
Richard says the U.S is extremely concerned about people in the two states.   She says no one knows many people may flee south in the coming months, but adds that it could be “tens of thousands."

You May Like

Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More