Nuba Mountains refugees switch South Sudanese camps
Thousands of refugees from South Kordofan have arrived in Pamir camp in South Sudan, after being forced to leave Yida camp because of a shortage of food.
10,000 new refugees from the Nuba Mountains have arrived in Pamir in Ruwang, a reporter at the scene told Radio Dabanga. The refugees that have reached the camp in the past three months mostly come from Yida, after humanitarian organisations there have scaled down food and aid activities last year.
Most of the refugees originate from rural South Kordofan, he added. The refugees had 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, which started in 2011.
The lack of food because of the failure of the previous agricultural season is the primary cause of the recent movement of refugees. Insecurity in South Sudan is another driver of relocation.
Residents of Yida have faced uncertain times since June 2016, when the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) pushed for the relocation of 70,000 refugees from the overpopulated, 'unofficial' refugee camp. They were requested to go or transported to Pamir and Ajuong Thok. Some people opted to stay and continue harvesting the farms they built, others packed-up for a new settlement as they found the help and presence of aid agencies decreased.
Speaking to the South Sudanese Radio Tamazuj on 9 April, several refugees who chose to stay in Yida said they depended on their own cultivation to supplement the food aid given by agencies, but due to lack of rains this year, they could not produce any food.
Refugees who were unwilling to relocate have headed back to South Kordofan in large numbers: reportedly 14,434 refugees from Yida returned in August, raising the total number of returnees from South Sudan to South Kordofan to more than 27,500 people. The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reported these numbers and predicted the refugees' food insecurity problems now caused by the failed agricultural season.
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