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Nearly 200,000 South Sudanese flee to Uganda this year: UNHCR

GENEVA Switzerland (Xinhua) -- Since the start of the year, some 192,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighboring Uganda, a country currently hosting 832,000 refugees from South Sudan, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported Friday.

As the situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate, UNHCR said that since April 3 alone over 6,000 South Sudanese have fled their homes to seek relative safety in Uganda’s northern Lamwo district.

Uganda has received on average 2,000 South Sudanese refugees every day since January the year as reigning insecurity, clashes between rival factions and famine continue in the world’s youngest nation.

The Geneva-based agency reported that almost two thirds of new arrivals are children.

Since the conflict in the African country began in December 2013, some 1.7 million people have sought refuge in neighboring nations including Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan.

A further 1.9 million people are internally displaced within the country, which boasts a population of less than 12 million.


UNHCR condemn surge in insecurity in South Sudan

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency expressed concern Friday over the deterioration of the security situation in South Sudan, especially the recent attack in the town of Pojok in the Eastern Equatoria region, forcing more refugees to flee for safety.

According to the UNHCR, people fleeing the recent incident claimed that the town came under an indiscriminate attack by the South Sudan armed forces.

"Ongoing fighting is also reported in the districts of Magwi and Oboo, towns also close to the border. This spreading of violence signifies a worrying development," the UNHCR said in a statement.

Around 4,000 refugees immediately fled South Sudan in the aftermath of the horrible attack on Pajok town, which has an estimated population of up to 50,000, the UNHCR said.

It said Uganda’s northern Lamwo district has received over 6,000 South Sudanese since Monday as refugees report witnessing their loved ones shot dead at a close range, with many arrested or slaughtered, including children.

"Families fled in different directions; the elderly and disabled who could not run were shot dead. Many people are still hiding in the bush trying to find their way to Uganda, while homes and properties were looted and burned. Main roads out of the town are reportedly blocked by armed groups," the UNHCR said.

Uganda currently hosts more than 832,000 refugees from South Sudan. Some 192,000 have arrived in 2017 with an average of 2,000 refugees fleeing insecurity, violence and famine every day. Over 62 percent of the new arrivals are children.

The conflict has taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan as around 7.5 million people are in need of relief and protection, and the humanitarian crisis has deepened further with localized famine declared in parts of the country.

According to the UN, some 1.7 million refugees have fled the world’s youngest country and the continuing brutal conflict, compounded by the limited availability of food could displace thousands more into South Sudan’s neighbourhood.

Within South Sudan itself, over 1.9 million people are internally displaced, from a population of under 12 million. The UNHCR said its funding appeal for South Sudan situation of 781.8 million U.S. dollars is only 11 percent funded.

It appealed to the international community for urgent and massive support for the thousands of South Sudan refugees in Uganda, Sudan (380,000), Ethiopia (356,000) and elsewhere in the neighbourhood.

At least six killed, scores injured in gun attacks near South Sudan capital

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- South Sudan police said Friday that at least six civilians were killed and 13 others injured on Thursday afternoon in separate gun attacks on commercial vehicles.

Police spokesman Daniel Justine Bolo told Xinhua that gunmen fired randomly at a convoy carrying internally displaced people to the eastern town of Pibor, killing four people on spot and injured 13 others about 10 Kilometers east of the capital, Juba.

The attack happened on the same road where six humanitarian workers were ambushed and killed two weeks ago.

Bolo added that two more passengers were also killed following an attack on two commercial vehicles along the busy Juba-Nimule road, the only remaining major route linking land-locked South Sudan to its Southern neighbor Uganda.

"A commercial car carrying displaced people was ambushed on Thursday at Sirikat and four people lost their lives and 13 others were wounded. We are still investigating and no arrest has been made despite the scene being near to Juba," Bolo said.

Targeted killings along major roads across war-torn South Sudan have increased since renewed fighting erupted in July 2016.

The government said in October 2016 that at least 95 people were killed in road ambushes in two months. More than three years of conflict have taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan.

The UN estimates that the conflict has forced 1.5 South Sudanese into neighboring countries and another 7.5 million people across the country are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection and localized famine has been declared in northern parts of the world’s youngest nation.


Cholera kills 29 in eastern South Sudan

JUBA South Sudan (Xinhua) -- Authorities in South Sudan’s Jonglei state said Friday they have registered nearly 200 new cholera infections and 29 deaths since health workers confirmed outbreak of the acute diarrhea disease in February.

Angok Gordon, Jonglei State Minister of Health told Xinhua that official figures from health partners show that 198 cholera cases and 29 deaths have been reported.

Gordon said most of the affected came from remote fishing villages along the River Nile and from rural cattle- keeping communities.

Gordon attributed the rise to lack of clean drinking and poor sanitation in rural communities. War-torn South Sudan has declared cholera outbreak for the third year in a row since 2014.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) bulletin of March, a cumulative 4,401 cholera cases including 81 deaths have been reported in South Sudan in 9 states since the outbreak was declared in July 2016.

The agency said partners have put efforts together to control the outbreak by increasing social mobilization and medical supplies.



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