Thousands flee famine, fighting in S.Sudan

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South Sudanese continue to flee their country because of the ongoing fighting and famine. Almost 1000 South Sudanese, many of them women and children, are reaching the Sudanese border daily.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has set up reception centres at the border to provide humanitarian aid to the displaced.

Misery and sadness as the South Sudanese find themselves wanting and driven out of their country by endless wars. The ongoing fighting and famine in South Sudan has forced large numbers of refugees to neighbouring Sudan over the past months.

“I lost my entire family to the war. I used to have seven family members, five siblings and two sons. So I left my Upper Nile State home, and walked for days to get here. I will never go back. What I have been through is dreadful,” says a South Sudan resident.

According to the UNHCR a combination of famine and armed conflict is driving the growing refugee crisis.

In response to the growing need, the Sudanese government and international aid agencies including the UNHCR and the World Food Programme are providing much needed facilities and food.

“The refugees who arrived here have all undertaken a long journey. Some of them are seriously dehydrated. Many of the elderly suffer high or low blood pressure. Usually we first do some simple physical examination and treatment for them,” explains Sudanese Red Cross Health Department, Mohamed Elsir.

A Sudanese political analyst said the humanitarian crisis is a result of the United States’ policies towards both Sudan and South Sudan.

The US has not honoured the agreement by lifting sanctions against Sudan following South Sudan’s independence.

“Washington has not honoured the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. And now a tragedy is unfolding on the Sudan-South Sudan border in which tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees have flooded into Sudan because of famine.

“This situation is enough to make the United States review its policies towards the two countries,” says Political analyst, Majid Mohamed Ali.

The US played a key role in helping create the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement which laid the groundwork for South Sudan’s 2011 independence referendum and secession.

Meanwhile, mass graves have been uncovered in the DRC around the village of Tshienke revealing the increasingly brutal nature of fighting in central Congo between the army and local militia.

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