South Sudan fighting uproots 70,000 in three weeks

The UN refugee agency said Tuesday that more than 70,000 South Sudanese have fled to safety in three weeks after a truce was signed in Addis Ababa May 9.

Nairobi: The UN refugee agency said Tuesday that more than 70,000 South Sudanese have fled to safety in three weeks after a truce was signed in Addis Ababa May 9.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), recent arrivals say they fled violence in Jonglei and Upper Nile states, particularly the area around Mathiang in Longechuk county of Upper Nile state, Xinhua reported.
"Ethiopia currently hosts the largest South Sudanese refugee population at 131,051 people, mostly women and children," UNHCR said in a statement.

"To accommodate the refugees, UNHCR and the Ethiopian authorities have opened three new camps this year, two of which (Leitchuor and Kule I) have a combined population of 95,085 refugees and are already full."

The third camp, Kule II which was opened May 17, is already hosting 5,997 refugees, UNHCR said.

"With 16,500 more refugees at the border waiting to be relocated, and an average of 1,000 South Sudanese arriving daily in Ethiopia, we have already started looking for additional land for a fourth camp."
Since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Addis Ababa May 9, the number of internally displaced people has grown by 46,000 people to 1.01 million.

"Over the same period, the number of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda has swollen by over 20,000 to 370,000 people," the UN agency said.

The world`s newest country has been mired in civil conflict for over six months, aggravating an already dire humanitarian situation. The truce signed earlier this month was the second so far.

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