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Sudan hosts 2 million refugees: official

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Refugees from South Sudan receive medical treatment in Sudan's White Nile state on February 28, 2017 (AFP Photo/ASHRAF SHAZLY)
August 21, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s commissioner of refugees Hamad al-Gizouli Monday has expressed concern over the growing number of refugees in his country, especially those coming from South Sudan.

“There is a steady increase in the number of refugees, and the country now hosts 2,000,000 refugees, including 1,300,000 refugees from South Sudan,” al-Gizouli told reporters at a press conference in Khartoum.

He pointed out that there is an urgent need to improve the services rendered to the refugees, demanding the international community to increase its support for refugees.

Al-Gizouli said the international community covers only 22% of the actual need of refugees, revealing that Chad and Ethiopia host 432,000 Sudanese refugees.

The Sudanese official pointed to the large presence of human trafficking gangs in the refugee camps in eastern Sudan, saying the government doesn’t have sufficient means to combat the phenomenon.

SOUTH SUDANESE REFUGEES

For her part, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) representative for Sudan Noriko Yoshida has appealed to the Sudanese government to not change its ideal way of dealing with South Sudan’s refugees as a result of the recent incident at Khor Al-Waral Camp.

She described the incident as regrettable, saying the culprits must be brought to justice and no one is above the law.

A group of South Sudanese refugees burnt tents and administrative building and looted warehouse inside the White Nile largest camp of Khor Al-Waral on Tuesday 1 August.

The Sudanese authorities arrested 78 South Sudanese nationals and the state governor pointed an accusing finger to the South Sudanese army saying some of its officers were behind the riots.

According to the UN, more than 410,000 South Sudanese — nearly 90% of them women and children — have fled to Sudan since the outbreak of civil war in 2013.

South Sudan seceded from Sudan on July 9th, 2011 following a referendum on whether the semi-autonomous region should remain a part of the country or become independent. 99% of the Southern Sudanese voters chose Independence.

(ST)

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