Hundreds of South Sudanese arrive in North Darfur

Hundreds of South Sudanese fleeing the fighting in Bahr El Ghazal reached North Darfur last week. No assistance has so far reached them, Suleiman Mukhtar, Member of Parliament for Ailliet Jarelnabi constituency reported.

Hundreds of South Sudanese fleeing the fighting in Bahr El Ghazal reached North Darfur last week.

Suleiman Mukhtar, Member of Parliament for Ailliet Jarelnabi constituency confirmed to Radio Dabanga that more than 700 South Sudanese refugee families arrived in the areas of Dalil Dukhri, Haskanita, and Abu Sufyan.

No assistance has so far reached them, Mukhtar said. He appealed to the authorities and international humanitarian organisations to intervene and provide aid.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Sudan reported in its latest weekly bulletin that South Sudanese comprise the largest refugee population in Sudan, with more than 231,000 arrivals since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013.

Since the start of 2016, South Sudanese have also come in large numbers to Darfur, with 53,000 arrivals in East Darfur and more than 5,000 in South Darfur to date. White Nile state hosts the majority of South Sudanese refugees: more than 95,000 people. Significant numbers of South Sudanese are also present in settlements and host communities in Khartoum, West Kordofan, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states.

Hunger catastrophe

Up to 4.8 million people in South Sudan – well over one-third of the population – will be facing severe food shortages over the coming months, and the risk of a hunger catastrophe continues to threaten parts of the country, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Children's Fund (Unicef), and the World Food Programme (WFP) warned in a news release on 29 June.

This is the highest level of hunger since the conflict in South Sudan began two-and-a-half years ago. The three UN agencies state that the level of food insecurity this year is unprecedented. The deteriorating situation coincides with an unusually long and harsh annual lean season, while the people have depleted their food stocks and new harvests are not expected until August.

“We are very worried to see that food insecurity is spreading beyond conflict areas as rising prices, impassable roads and dysfunctional markets are preventing many families, even those in towns and cities, from accessing food,” said FAO Country Representative to South Sudan, Serge Tissot.

In the past few months alone, an estimated 100,000 South Sudanese people have crossed into Sudan, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. This number is expected to increase to more than 150,000 by the end of June, the news release reads.