21, September 2016
Sudan says it is hosting about 400,000 refugees, who fled the civil war in South Sudan that erupted in late 2013. Sudan’s Interior Minister Babiker Digna told reporters in the capital Khartoum on Wednesday that more refugees continued to pour into the country.
“The number of South Sudanese refugees registered by Sudanese authorities is 400,000,” Digna said, adding, “The influx of South Sudanese continues until now… and the process of registering them is also ongoing.” The United Nations earlier said that as of August 31, the total number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan had exceeded 247,000.
Responding to a discrepancy between the two figures, Digna said “many times” there was disagreement with the UN on the numbers. On September 16, the United Nations refugee agency said in a statement that fighting in South Sudan had forced more than one million people to flee the war-stricken country. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said another 1.61 million people had been displaced inside the country.
On the same day, Noriko Yoshida, the UN refugee agency’s representative for Sudan, appealed for more global aid to help address South Sudan’s refugee crisis, adding, “If we don’t have sufficient resources, it is also difficult to protect and assist these refugees.”
The Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda are also hosting thousands of refugees from South Sudan.
The country gained independence in July 2011, but descended into war in December 2013, after President Salva Kiir accused the former vice president, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup to usurp power.
Numerous international attempts to reach a truce between the warring sides have failed. South Sudan has experienced a new wave of conflict since July 8, when gunfire erupted near the state house in Juba as President Kiir and Machar were holding a meeting.