Skip to main content
Independent news from the heart of Darfur and Sudan
Watch live

Aid reduced for Nuba refugees in South Sudan's Yida

July 7 - 2016 YIDA REFUGEE CAMP
El Nur Saleh, Chairman of the Yida Refugee Council, Dec 2015 (Nuba Reports)
El Nur Saleh, Chairman of the Yida Refugee Council, Dec 2015 (Nuba Reports)

The humanitarian organisations working in the South Sudanese Yida camp for refugees from South Kordofan continue to phase out their services.

The aid activities at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan's Unity State are decreased in line with the relocation programme of the about 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains to new sites in the vicinity.

El Nur Saleh, chairman of the Yida Refugee Council, told Radio Dabanga that some of the health and protection centres at the camp have been closed before, as the aid organisations are transferring their activities to the new camp sites in Pamir and Ajuong Thok.

The humanitarian organisations working in the South Sudanese Yida camp for refugees from South Kordofan continue to phase out their services.

The aid activities at the Yida refugee camp in South Sudan's Unity State are decreased in line with the relocation programme of the about 70,000 refugees from the Nuba Mountains to new sites.

El Nur Saleh, chairman of the Yida Refugee Council, told Radio Dabanga that some of the health and protection centres at the camp have been closed before, as the aid organisations are transferring their activities to the Pamir and Ajuong Thok new camp sites.

He pointed to the spread of malaria and an increase of diarrhoea cases among the refugees as the rainy season has started months ago. The transportation of the refugees to the new sites is slowed-down because of the lack of means of transport.

 “The UN told us that Yida is too close to the border and for that reason it is insecure. That is why we must move.”

New sites in Ajuong Thok, Pamir

The refugees have sought shelter in Yida to escape the ongoing fighting in the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan between Khartoum and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North since it began in 2011. Yida is 14 kilometres from the Sudan-South Sudan border, less than the 50-kilometres minimum set by UN guidelines. The new site at Ajuong Thok however, is just two kilometres further away than Yida. Pamir, based on a UNHCR map, is a similar distance from the border, Nuba Reports stated in December last year.

The negligible difference in kilometres between the camps not only fails to meet the UN guidelines, but the location of the alternative camps is less secure, according to Yida residents. “The UN told us that Yida is too close to the border and for that reason it is insecure. That is why we must move,” Ali Kuku Mekki, Paramount Chief at Yida said.

Ajuong Thok is only 45 km from a Sudanese government army base, according to the deputy chairman of the Yida Refugee Council, Ismail Hussein. These are “the very people Yida refugees fled from in the first place”.

The Pamir camp is also located in an area with several nomadic tribes who are in conflict with Yida residents, Hussein added. “You find people and tribes who kicked us out of our homeland in the Nuba Mountains. It is also [in an area] controlled by South Sudanese rebel forces so it is not safe and not in the hands of the government of South Sudan. These two reasons made us scared to go to Pamir.”

In comparison, the Yida camp provides an escape route that Nuba refugees think safe to make their way home should they want to, several Yida residents told Nuba Reports.

Though UNHCR and the Government of South Sudan have made assurances that no one will be forced to leave, they have stated that all services currently being provided in Yida refugee camp -including nutrition and water- will end as of 30 June 2016, US activist Eric Reeves wrote in a report on 9 April.


Back to overview

News Headlines

August 7 - 2020 KHARTOUM / WASHINGTON DC / RIYADH

Pompeo calls PM Hamdok about removing Sudan from US terror list

August 7 - 2020 KHARTOUM / RIVER NILE / NORTHERN STATE / RED SEA

Covid-19: Sudan case total increases to 11,850

August 6 - 2020 KUTUM / EL FASHER

Lawlessness persists in North Darfur

More news