Home | News    Thursday 3 April 2014

UNHCR, Khartoum disagree over South Sudanese refugees


April 3, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations office in Sudan has disclosed disagreement between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Sudanese government on the description of the South Sudanese citizens who fled to Sudan due to the ongoing conflict in the newborn state.

JPEG - 23.8 kb
South Sudanese refugees cook on an open fire at a camp run by the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in the western part of White Nile state, Sudan, on January 27, 2014 (Photo AFP/Ashraf Shazly)

Khartoum since the start of South Sudanese crisis last December refuses to describe them as refugees saying they will be considered as Sudanese citizens and are free to settle where they want, but at the same time it refuses to establish refugees camps near the border fearing that rebels seek refuges there.

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ali Al-Za’atari, warned in a press conference on Wednesday against a catastrophe in the event that the number of South Sudanese citizens living on the borders reaches 150.000 people.

He stressed in a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday that the number of South Sudanese who fled to Sudanese territory is between 27.000 to 50.000 people, saying the Sudanese government refuses to describe the southerners as refugees while demanding humanitarian assistance for them.

"How can we offer them assistance if they are not refugees", he said.

He asserted that a refugee is defined by certain criteria, saying the Sudanese government can deal with them as brothers but we consider them refugees.

Al-Za’atari underscored that Khartoum must look at this issue in a logical and objective way particularly as the two sides are bound by international laws and regulations in this regard, saying description of the fleeing southerners as refugees would enable them to secure the necessary funding from donors.

"We currently help the southerners from the fund which must be allocated to Sudanese areas", he added.

Al-Za’atari further said they requested $48 million to meet requirements of South Sudanese fleeing to Sudan, pointing the hosting country and the UNHCR must issue a joint appeal in order to get that fund.

He however disclosed that a committee was formed in order to settle the dispute between the Sudanese government and the UNHCR.

Meanwhile, the Sudanese government maintained its sovereign right to not consider the southerners who live within its territory as refugees.

Sudan’s humanitarian aid commissioner, Suleiman Abdel-Rahman, for his part said the hosting country has the legal right to grant the description of a refugee or offer full citizenship status.

He stressed the Sudanese president Omer Al-Bashir directed the concerned bodies to treat South Sudanese fleeing the ongoing conflict as Sudanese citizens, not refugees, stressing the presidential directive could be reviewed if the number of southerners increased significantly.


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.
  • 3 April 2014 07:12, by hellonearth


    repondre message

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

President Festus G. Mogae rekindles peace hopeful dividends for South Sudan 2015-11-28 07:33:06 By James Okuk Friday 27th November 2015 had marked a very important step forward on the path of peace in the Republic of South Sudan despite lagging behind the schedules in the last wasted three (...)

The Sudanese rebels’ national agenda is causing local harm 2015-11-26 07:46:17 By Hafiz Ismail Mohamed Sudan people's Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N)'s insistence on negotiating with the government about national issues only – rather than giving priority to South (...)

Tribal politics is what destroying our social fabric 2015-11-25 06:08:13 By Malek Cook-Dwach, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”? Albert Einstein In the paradox of (...)


Latest Press Releases

Deadly Public Order raid in Umm Dawm 2015-11-11 13:26:10 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)Deadly Public Order Raid in Umm Dawm On the 14th of October, the Public Order Police (POP) carried out a sweep in Umm Dawm, an area (...)

S. Sudan civil society groups to the 28 states issue to constitutional body 2015-10-08 17:26:10 South Sudan Civil Society Organizations Submission on the Creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan Press Statement For immediate Release 8th October 2015 Following the announcement (...)

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.