UGANDA: UN Renews Appeal for Help to Over One Million South Sudan Refugees in Nation

KAMPALA, AUGUST 18, 2017(CISA) – United Nations has appealed for help to over One Million South Sudan refugees flocking Uganda.

“Over the past 12 months, an average of 1800 South Sudanese have been coming to Uganda every day,” said the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement to the press on August 17.

“In addition to the million there, a million or even more South Sudanese refugees are being hosted by Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic,” it added.

More than 85 per cent of the refugees who have arrived in Uganda are women and children, below 18 years.

“Recent arrivals continue to speak of barbaric violence, with armed groups reportedly burning down houses with civilians inside, people being killed in front of family members, sexual assaults of women and girls, and kidnapping of boys for forced conscription,” said UNHCR, explaining that even as thousands of refugees arrive, aid deliveries are increasingly falling short.

The UN agency noted that although USD 674 million is needed for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda this year, so far only a fifth of this amount, or 21 per cent, has been received.

Ugandan refugee officials, reported BBC, have repeatedly warned that the influx of refugees is straining the country’s ability to be generous to the refugees, who are often given small plots of land for building temporary shelters and planting crops when they arrive.

The largest of the settlements hosting the refugees is Bidi Bidi, roughly 230 square kilometers (88.8 sq. miles).

South Sudan has been wracked by civil war, which has seen numerous atrocities, since 2013.

In July 2013, President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Dr Riek Machar, and in December accused him of planning a coup – an allegation he denied. Forces loyal to the two men then started fighting.

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