February 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - More than 300,000 people have arrived in Sudan since the beginning of the South Sudanese crisis in December 2013, said the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)..
- South Sudanese refugees cook on an open fire at a camp run by the Sudanese Red Crescent Society in the western part of Sudan’s White Nile state on 27 January 2014 (Photo: AFP/Ashraf Shazly)
"The number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan "has surpassed the 300,000 mark and as of 13 February and stands at 305,000 people," reported OCHA in its weekly news bulletin.
Nearly the half of South Sudanese refugees, 131,000 refugees, arrived in Sudan during the past year 2016.
49% of 2016 influx arrived between February and April in East Darfur State from the Bahr El-Ghazal province fleeing food shortage and famine.
29% crossed to the White Nile state from through the Upper Nile state, a small percentage also arrived from the Unity region through the South Kordofan State.
"Over 65% of the refugees are children, with many of them arriving with critical levels of malnutrition," said the report.
UN agencies have noticed also the return of Sudanese refugees to their homeland in South Kordofan or the White Nile states.
Before the December 2013 crisis, 350,000 South Sudanese have remained in Sudan and didn’t return to their areas after the independence of South Sudan.
Also in December 2014, the Sudanese government agreed with the UN to deliver residence permits to South Sudanese refugees enabling them to circulate and to work in the country.
The failure of the peace agreement mediated by, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the continuation of clashes in different parts of the country pushed the UNHCR to anticipate the arrival of more refugees across the 2000 km long border between the two countries.
"The planning figure for 2017 is an estimated 60,000 additional refugees, with the corresponding response outlined in the South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan for 2017," said OCHA.
Following the resumption of armed clashes in Juba last July, IGAD leaders agreed to give President Salva Kiir the time to implement the content of the August 2015 peace agreement and to keep his rival and former First Vice President Riek Machar outside the region in South African.
However, the continuation of the war in different regions in the country and the absence of prospects for a viable settlement, push aid agencies to consider long-term humanitarian plans for the internally displaced people and refugees in neighbouring countries alike.