As killings and bombings continue no fewer than 110,000 people have fled to escape the devastating effects of bombs as a result of renewed fighting that broke out since last month in the world's newest nation of South Sudan, the United Nation said on Friday.
Refugees have been fleeing in droves to the east African nation of Uganda from South Sudan.
The UN’s refugee agency said it was “extremely worried” about South Sudan’s rapidly escalating displacement crisis, warning that neighbouring countries and humanitarian groups were struggling to cope with the situation.
Roughly 82,000 of those who have sought refuge across South Sudan’s southern border in 2016 have moved in the last five weeks, the UNHCR said.
The influx was sparked by renewed fighting between the government forces of President Salva Kiir and those loyal to ex-rebel chief Riek Machar.
Another 100,000 South Sudanese have fled north this year into Sudan. However, most of that movement occurred earlier in the year and was partly linked to food insecurity.
Overall, more than 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes since South Sudan’s war erupted in December 2013, including 930,000 who have fled to neighbouring countries, the NHCR said.
At the same time, Uganda announced on Friday it would not contribute troops to a regional brigade designed to bolster the UN mission in South Sudan, hours before a Security Council vote authorising the deployment.
A key ally of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, Uganda’s government said it did not want to be seen as interfering in another nation’s affairs by joining the UN protection force due to be deployed in the capital, Juba.
“Not deploying in South Sudan was voluntary,” Ugandan foreign minister Henry Okello told AFP on Friday.
“We choose for Uganda not to be part of the deployment so that (those) who accuse the UPDF (Ugandan army) of meddling in the internal affairs of South Sudan have no opportunity to accuse us,” he added. - AFP