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Thousands of S. Sudanese refugees fleeing into Uganda

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December 26, 2016 (ADJUMANI/JUBA) - The number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda continues to grow, with 7,046 new arrivals recorded in on 13 December, the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) has said.

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Some of the displaced people heading at a camp in Adjumnani, Uganda (Photo: UNHCR)

“Refugees who are newly arriving in Uganda - 86 per cent of whom are women and children - continue to face long and difficult journeys in their search for safety,” OCHA said in a report extended to Sudan Tribune.

The majority of the refugees reportedly reach Uganda through informal border points, while over 4,000 arrived in Uganda via Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Renewed violence broke out between rival forces in the South Sudanese capital, Juba in July, forcing thousands to flee the young nation into its neighbouring countries.

According to the UN refugee agency, many refugees report that they are leaving South Sudan due to the deteriorating security situation, including fighting in Yei and Wonduruba areas, looting of properties, and rumours of upcoming attacks by armed actors in the Equatorias.

“In addition to those fleeing to Uganda, there are an increasing number of people fleeing to Kenya from areas such as Lainya, Wonduruba, Yei, Juba and Torit,” it said.

Meanwhile, refugees arriving into Kenya told the UN humanitarian agency they chose the route as roads to the Ugandan border are increasingly dangerous, with armed actors harassing, robbing and targeting those fleeing.

Since July 2016, more than 394,500 South Sudanese have arrived in Uganda, bringing the total number of refugees there to over 584,000, OCHA further says in its new report.

It added, “There are now over 92,000 South Sudanese refugees in Kenya”.

Fighting and insecurity continue to cause displacement and rising humanitarian needs in the Greater Equatoria region.

In Central Equatoria, OCHA said it its report, internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yei town and surrounding areas remain unable to move freely because of checkpoints along the main roads, including to Juba, DRC and Uganda.

In Western Equatoria, there are an estimated 28,000 people displaced from Yambio, 16,000 displaced from Ezo, and 50,000 displaced from Mundri East, Mundri West and Mvolo.

(ST)

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