25,000 South Sudanese refugees flee into Uganda

Easing of border restrictions, checkpoints sees large influx of people fleeing fighting in Juba

25,000 South Sudanese refugees flee into Uganda

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Nations has confirmed that 25,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Uganda over the last six days.

Speaking on Friday to Anadolu Agency the UNHCR’s Kampala office spokesman Charles Yaxley revealed: “By yesterday [Thursday] evening alone, we registered 8,000 refugees crossing into Uganda.

“There are now over 25,000 South Sudanese refugees who have crossed and we expect the numbers to increase in the next week.”

More than 90 percent of the new arrivals are women and children under the age of 18 years.

Yaxley said the new arrivals are because the Ugandan government eased border restrictions especially along the 200-kilometer [124-mile] Juba-Nimule road linking South Sudan’s capital to Uganda.

However, UNHCR efforts are being hindered by bad weather in northern Uganda: “Torrential rains are hampering our registration efforts and have made providing life-saving assistance more difficult,” said Yaxley.

On Tuesday nearly 3,300 South Sudanese refugees crossed into Uganda, with the number rising to over 7,200 on Wednesday.

The UNHCR notes that “new arrivals are mostly fleeing from Eastern Equatoria state, with a smaller number arriving from Juba”.

Last Friday in Nairobi, Kenya, the UNHCR presented a revised appeal for its South Sudanese refugees operations, seeking US$701 million. An earlier appeal for US$638 million was only 17 percent funded.

The UN estimates that at least 300 people were killed after violence erupted in Juba on July 7.

The refugee influx comes just days after the African Union backed plans to deploy regional troops to South Sudan, a move its government has opposed.

Soldiers for the African Union force are to come from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon had suggested that: “The AU sends a strong message to the warring factions in South Sudan.”

This included imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan, sanctions on the people responsible for the violence and fortifying and strengthening the United Nations mission in the country.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2016, 15:24