Home | News    Friday 10 January 2014

Sudanese refugees help keep S. Sudan camps running as foreign workers pull out

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

January 9, 2014 (JUBA) - Refugees from Blue Nile state in neighbouring Sudan have mobilised to fill the void left by evacuated aid staff to help keep life in some of South Sudan’s largest refugee camps running smoothly, the UNHCR said on Wednesday.

JPEG - 58.4 kb
Sudanese refugees fill their bottles at a water collection point in Upper Nile state’s Maban county (FILE)

Ongoing fighting in the north-east of the country has cut road routes to Upper Nile state’s Maban county, which is home to some 120,000 refugees mostly from Sudan.

The UN refugee agency said residents in the camps have stepped up to take on more responsibilities, including guarding warehouses packed with supplies belonging to UNHCR and aid agencies that left after the violence erupted between the South Sudanese government and opposition forces.

Refugees who had been trained as water pump technicians have also taken on a lead role within the camps, helping ensure pumps keep on working.

“This initiative is very positive. Refugees have taken control of the situation. They are making sure nothing is being touched. There has been no looting at all”, the UNHCR’s Adan Ilmi said.

A 22-year veteran of UNHCR, Ilmi heads the agency’s operations in Maban county capital Bunj, where he said he was now increasingly relying on refugees to take on more duties since the world’s newest nation plunged into violence on 15 December.

He is currently operating with a skeleton staff of 18 officers, one-fifth of his usual 85-strong workforce.

“We all go to the camps every morning and do whatever we can”, Ilmi said.

“It’s very important to go to the camps Sunday to Sunday to reassure the refugees we are still here with them”, he adds.

Many aid agencies pulled out of South Sudan or dramatically scaled back operations after violence broke out in Juba between rival members of the presidential guards, quickly spreading to other parts of the country, including Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states.

Ilmi concedes refugees at the camps are concerned about what the future holds should fighting continue indefinitely.

They have already fled violent conflict in their homeland, which has been the scene of an insurgency since 2011 led by rebels from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), who are fighting the Khartoum regime.

Thousands of people, who lost their homes and livelihoods, have sought refuge in South Sudan and other neighbouring African countries.

UNHCR says it began training newly arrived Sudanese refugees in water management, camp management and healthcare, with a view to eventually reducing the number of international staff needed to run the camps. That plan has been suddenly tested after aid agencies began evacuating non-essential staff amid growing security concerns after the country plunged into violence.

Although fighting continues just 60kms away, Ilmi said morale among his remaining staff was high, and there were no signs that humanitarian workers or refugees at the camps are being targeted.

The UNHCR said the area remains at risk of being completely cut off by fighting, with its sister agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), recently distributing additional food rations.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Undermining South Sudanese expertise’s is ironical! 2014-09-19 10:15:59 By Peter Gai Manyuon September 18, 2014 - The recent order from the Ministry of Labor and Public Service in the Republic of South Sudan that was issued on 16th of September 2014 is absolute (...)

Sudan - Colliding interests 2014-09-16 10:04:11 By Mohamed Elshabik September 15, 2014 - Sudan seems to be unconcerned by the current political crisis in the region. Amid a prognosis of full-scale war in South Sudan, unrest in Egypt, chaos in (...)

A pastoral appeal to South Sudanese to reconcile 2014-09-16 09:19:03 By Rev. Bernard Oliya Suwa, PhD September 15, 2014 - The 15th of December 2013 is a date that we South Sudanese are not going to forget any time soon – and so we shouldn't! After the violence (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Sudan Democracy First Group: Art as resistance – art as resilience 2014-09-09 12:34:15 Sudan Democracy First Group Art as Resistance – Art as Resilience September 8, 2014 - To mark the third anniversary of the resumption of civil war in Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains/South Kordofan, (...)

Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice 2014-09-03 13:13:43 Amnesty International Sudan: Those behind unlawful killings and torture of protesters must be brought to justice The brutal suppression of protest in Sudan must end, and members of the security (...)

National Dialogue in Sudan: Past experiences and current challenges 2014-08-27 06:18:22 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) Since independence, Sudan has undergone a number of national peace agreements, some of which were observed and honored for short periods, others which were (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.