UN: 70,000 South Sudanese have fled to Uganda since July

At least 70,000 South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring Uganda since renewed violence broke out last month in the war-torn country, a top UN official said Wednesday.

UN humanitarian affairs chief Stephen O'Brien, who visited South Sudan in early August, warned of an "enormous and complex humanitarian crisis" facing the country, where 1.6 million people are internally displaced and some 4.8 million are severely food insecure.

"Sadly, in the past year, the humanitarian situation has significantly deteriorated, including in areas that were relatively stable, and displacement and hunger are now widespread across the country," O'Brien said.

He noted that at least 70,000 people have fled to Uganda since July, an increase even from last week's UN estimate of 60,000.

"[The refugee flow] appears to be growing," O'Brien said.

Some 900,000 people have fled South Sudan since violence broke out in December 2013, when a power struggle between South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and his former vice president Riek Machar turned into a military conflict.

The UN's humanitarian response plan for the country has a funding gap of 700 million dollars - a figure that is likely to rise when the appeal is revised in the coming weeks to reflect current needs.

O'Brien's visit to South Sudan came after renewed fighting erupted on July 9 as the country marked the fifth anniversary of its independence from Sudan. The violence dealt a blow to a peace agreement that was signed last year to end the conflict.

Last update: Wed, 10/08/2016 - 22:42
Author: 

More from World

Australia will continue pursuing trade deal, minister says

Australia is not giving up on the historic Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite US president Donald Trump withdrawing...

Militants in Ukraine, Turkey and Yemen fuel rise in global attacks

The number of attacks worldwide by terrorists and militants soared by 26 per cent to more than 24,000 last year,...

Trump Organization: President has no more role in businesses

Newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump, a New York-based real estate mogul and investor, has relinquished all...

At least 11 killed as al-Shabaab tries to seize town in Somalia

At least 11 people died Monday when heavily armed insurgents of the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab tried to...

Trump talks military aid with Egypt's al-Sissi

US President Donald Trump told Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi Monday that the new US administration is...