South Sudanese flood into Ethiopia

2014-04-16 11:49
Displaced South Sudanese citizens wait at a Sudanese border checkpoint in Joda, where Sudan's White Nile state meets the South's Upper Nile, after fleeing battles between rebel and government forces. (Ashraf Shazly, AFP)

Displaced South Sudanese citizens wait at a Sudanese border checkpoint in Joda, where Sudan's White Nile state meets the South's Upper Nile, after fleeing battles between rebel and government forces. (Ashraf Shazly, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - Up to 1 000 refugees from war-torn South Sudan are fleeing to Ethiopia each day, many of them on the brink of death, the UN said on Tuesday.

A massive 95% of the arrivals are also women and children, added the UN, citing witnesses saying that both boys and men have been forcibly recruited by armed men or killed along the way.

Since fighting erupted in December, refugees have been "arriving at a rate of 800-1 000 per day, and they are arriving on their last legs," Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, told reporters in Geneva.

If they had not received immediate help, "these people would be dead. They were really, really in bad shape," she said, following a recent visit to the region.

More than 95 000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Ethiopia since violence erupted in the world's youngest nation last December between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and fighters loosely allied to former vice president Riek Machar.

Nearly 200 000 more have sought refuge in Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, while more than 800 000 are displaced inside South Sudan, according to UN figures.

Some of those arriving in Ethiopia's Gambella region had walked up to three weeks to reach the border, Fleming said, adding that most were "very hungry, [with] up to 37% malnourished and needing emergency attention."

More than 4 000 malnourished children were receiving nutrition supplements, as were at least 3 500 lactating mothers, said Fleming.

Thousands of people have been killed in the violence that has also taken on an ethnic dimension, pitting Kiir's Dinka tribe against Machar's Nuer people.

New camps

Fleming on Tuesday also joined a chorus of aid workers voicing alarm over the low number of young men reaching the border.

"Generally in situations like these, we would see many more men arriving," she said.

But women were reporting that their husbands and sons had been forcibly recruited by unidentified armed groups or killed along the way, she said.

"People are arriving very traumatised by this and obviously in a state of shock," she said.

The UN and other organisations were scrambling to fly in new tents, build new camps and move refugees to higher ground as the rainy season approaches in Ethiopia, Fleming said.

At least 86 000 South Sudanese refugees are spread across four camps in Ethiopia, but nearly 10 000 people are also camped out at border crossing points.

In preparation for the rainy season, UNHCR has relocated refugees in low-lying water-prone areas in Kule camp and aid workers were due to begin a similar operation in the Leitchour camp on Tuesday, Fleming said.

The agency is also working with Ethiopian authorities to prepare a new and high-lying camp near Kule that should be able to shelter 30 000 refugees from late April.

A new transit centre was also being built near the Pagak border point to accommodate up to 5 000 people, Fleming said.
Read more on:    un  |  south sudan  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

HOUSES FOR SALE IN Paarl

Houses R 2 690 000

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.