Aid Agencies Warn Of Armed Elements In Refugee Sites

Refugees from South Kordofan gather at dusk at the Yida Refugee Camp in South Sudan. [AFP | File, Camille Lepage]

“Humanitarian partners are alarmed about increasing reports of armed elements in Refugee sites in Upper Nile State’s Maban County,” said the United Nations latest humanitarian bulletin. 

“The presence of armed personnel among the Refugees undermines the character of asylum and endangers Refugees and Humanitarian workers,” added the bulletin.

Maban hosts the largest population of Sudanese refugees at least 110,000 second to Yida hosting at least 60,000 others. However, the two camps are near to the borders between the two countries; Sudan and South Sudan.

In previous months midst military tensions between the two countries there had been bombings on the Yida camp. 

The United Nations also reported arrival of seven hundred new Sudanese refugees from Sudan last week.

At least 200,000 Sudanese refugees have arrived to South Sudan since the breakout of civil war between the Sudanese government and rebel group, the SPLM-North in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States last year in June.

The High Commissioner of the United Nations Agency for refugees Antonio Gutterres last month upon arrival to South Sudan expressed great concern on challenges facing the refugees at the camps, emphasizing for the relocation of the refugees from the camps deep into South Sudan to minimize insecurity.

He said agencies anticipates arrival of more refugees to South Sudan as fight between the two parties; government and rebels are expected to intensify as the dry season spells out soon. 

The UN high diplomat said at least 350,000 refugees are expected to arrive South Sudan by next year and called for adequate support from the internationally community both; politically and humanitarian, adding funding may need to be doubled if the anticipation becomes true.

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