UN: South Sudan Becomes Fourth Country to Cross 1 Million Refugee Mark, After Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia

South Sudan refugees
(Photo : Robert Stansfield/Department for International Development‬/CC) Refugees in Jamam camp in South Sudan stand in line for water.

Over one million South Sudanese refugees have fled the country to avoid being caught up in the violence raging in the country since the civil war started in 2013, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement on September 16.

Leo Dobbs, UNHCR spokesperson, reported at a press briefing in Geneva that a majority of refugees fleeing the country are women and children.

"They include survivors of violent attacks, sexual assault, children that have been separated from their parents or travelled alone," he said.

South Sudan now becomes the fourth nation in the world to have over one million refugees leave the country, apart from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

About 1.61 million people are already displaced inside the country, according to the UN.

"The fighting has shattered hopes for a real breakthrough and triggered new waves of displacement and suffering," he said, adding that security, logistics, and funding constraints make it hard for them to provide assistance to the people.

Uganda is hosting the largest number of South Sudanese refugees, about 370,000, among which some 20,000 arrived in the country last week. Other countries sheltering people fleeing the country include Kenya, Congo, Sudan, Central African Republic, and Ethiopia.

President Salva Kiir's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and rebels under former deputy Riek Machar have carried out war crimes against civilians on a massive scale, which include killings, rapes, abductions, and burning children and disabled people alive.

Many attempts made to secure peace between forces loyal to Machar and Kiir have failed. The warring sides had declared ceasefire before battle started again in July.

Tags South Sudan, South Sudan humanitarian crisis, President Salva Kiir, Riek Machar

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