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Nearly 260,000 Sudanese refugees flee to S. Sudan

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April 16, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan currently hosts close to 260,000 Sudanese refugees despite the country’s ongoing conflict in which millions of its own citizens have been displaced, the United Nations said.

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Sudanese refugees from Blue Nile state line up to collect water in a camp (Photo: UNHCR/V.Tan)

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), most of the refugees live in six camps in Unity and Upper Nile states.

“Many of them [refugees] are from South Kordofan in Sudan, and recent months have seen an increase in the number of new arrivals from this area,” OCHA said in a report.

Since 23 December 2014, some 9,800 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan have reportedly been transported to Ajuong Thok camp from Yida border town, with the majority said to be new arrivals fleeing ongoing conflict and insecurity in the Nuba Mountains.

“The remainders are long time residents of Yida, originally a spontaneous settlement sheltering nearly 70,000 refugees,” the report said.

The UN agency said the new arrivals from South Kordofan were stretching existing camp infrastructure, creating gaps in essential services like sanitation, health and education. Schools have as many as 140 students per classroom.

“To accommodate new arrivals and provide expanded services, partners are working with authorities to extend Ajuong Thok, improve services there, and establish a new camp in Pamir, a project that will require US $20 million,” the report said.

OCHA said $291 million was needed to support refugees from Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic who have sought refuge in South Sudan.

(ST)

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