January 22, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s humanitarian commissioner Suleiman Abdel-Rahman Suleiman has announced that his country received more than 8,000 refugees from South Sudan, saying half of them are in White Nile, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.
- A South Sudanese makes fishing nets inside a shelter in al-Ghanaa village in the Jableen locality in Sudan’s White Nile State, as refugees arrive from the South Sudanese war zones of Malakal and al-Rank via the Joda border, 17 January 2014 (Photo: REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)
Suleiman, who addressed a Nafeer (call to mobilise) event for local aid groups on Wednesday, confirmedd local and foreign aid groups were providing support to newly arrived refugees.
He said that more than 200 aid groups sent 88 tonnes of food in addition to 50 tonnes of humanitarian assistance provided in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP) through the local partners.
Suleiman stressed that the government intends to secure appropriate conditions for the refugees until they can voluntarily return to their country when security situation improves.
He added that Nafeer comes in the framework of the government’s efforts to sustain stability of the humanitarian situation, contain negative repercussions of refugees influx and prioritize local humanitarian work.
Meanwhile, the locality of Abu-Gibaiha in South Kordofan state has received 2,000 refugees from South Sudan while refugees’ flows continue along the 270 kilometers borderline with Upper Nile state in South Sudan.
The commissioner of Abu-Gibaiha, Babiker Mohamed Sharif, told the pro-government Sudan Media Center (SMC) website that his locality received refugees in three areas, adding that they are working on regrouping them in one area to facilitate provision of services.
The Sudanese president Omer al-Bashir said that his government does not want to establish camps for the South Sudanese refugees fleeing the current crisis and vowed to allow them to enter the country and settle anywhere without restrictions.
The external relations officer for the United Nations agency for refugees (UNHCR), Nicolas Brass, last week estimated that at least 10,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan since the start of fighting last December.
UN agencies estimate that over 400,000 are now displaced inside the South Sudan and 74,000 others moved into neighboring countries.