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South Sudan: UN now counts close to 1 million refugees

The UN reported on Monday that nearly one million South Sudanese people, mostly women and children, have fled to neighboring countries, where they live in overcrowded camps.

According to the refugee agency UNHCR, there 930,000 South Sudanese refugees hosted in six different countries in the region, and some 1.6 million living in internally displaced persons’ camps.

“Uganda is hosting a record number of Refugees, half a million. They come from Burundi, DRC and from South Sudan, which was affected by very serious fighting initially at the end of 2013,” said WFP Uganda’s Mike Sackett.

The agency has also asserted there’s difficulty for humanitarian agencies and host countries to cope with the new influx of refugees, which was triggered by the deadly fighting that broke out in early July between President Salva Kiir’s forces and troops loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar.

243,000 in Sudan

And in Khartoum, it is reported that about 243,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan, including tens of thousands in war-torn Darfur, since December 2013.

“The total number of South Sudanese refugees who arrived in Sudan is about 243,000 since December 2013,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said in its weekly bulletin.

It said as of August 16, the number of South Sudanese who arrived since the beginning of 2016 had reached about 90,000, including more than 50,000 who have taken refugee in East Darfur.

“The flow of refugees into East Darfur remains constant, with new arrivals on a daily basis,” OCHA said. But “no new spike in the number of arrivals into Sudan has been observed since the eruption of violence in Juba on 8 July,” it said.

South Sudan is one of the poorest countries on the planet, and it had some of the world’s worst indicators for development, health and education even before the war erupted.

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