With the arrival of estimated 35,000 refugees in Upper Nile State for the past three weeks, the humanitarian situation in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State has worsened.
Reports say most of the refugees came from the Sudanese state of Blue Nile.
According to the Office of the UN Hugh Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the humanitarian agencies have been coping with a sudden increase in refugees arriving from a state in neighbouring Sudan.
“This is a dramatic change in an already difficult humanitarian situation.” – UN Hugh Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres
He cites that not only are refugee numbers suddenly much higher, but the condition that many of these people is shockingly bad.
“Some have been eating tree leaves to survive along the way.” -Mr. Guterres
UNHCR reports that South Sudan is currently hosting some 150,000 refugees from Sudan, representing a huge logistics challenge for humanitarian aid to be properly delivered.
Late of March this year, military clashes have erupted in the border region of Sudan and South Sudan.
Media reports say South Sudan accused Sudan of sending warplanes to bomb two border areas.
Meanwhile, Sudan accused the southern army of attacking the oil-producing Heglig region wherein parts of which are claimed by both warring nations.
The military clashes prompted Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir to suspend plans to attend a meeting with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir on 3 April.
On July 2011, South Sudan, Africa’s 54th nation was born. Millions of people celebrated a new national identity and new national promise. For more than two decades, Sudan has been riven by intense fighting over land and resources.
However, the security situation in the disputed area of Abyei remains fragile, with both South Sudan and Sudan failing to withdraw their armed forces as agreed under a demilitarization pact reached in June 2011.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan on 9 July. A referendum on the status of the Abyei area on the border was to have been held in January this year, but never took place amid disagreement on voter eligibility.
Dozens of people have been killed this year as a result of clashes in Abyei and surrounding areas and tens of thousands of have been forced to flee their homes.