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Refugees in South Sudan appeal to UNHCR for services

December 17 - 2017 SOUTH SUDAN
Children fetch water at Yida Refugee Camp in South Sudan (Eye Radio)
Children fetch water at Yida Refugee Camp in South Sudan (Eye Radio)

Sudanese refugees from the Nuba Mountains living in camps in South Sudan have called upon the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to resume the provision of a number of services that have stopped for almost two years.

El Nur Saleh, a coordinator of Yida, Ajuong Thok, and Pamir refugee sites in South Sudan's Unity and Upper Nile states, told Radio Dabanga that the UNHCR suspended health, education and water services in early 2016 on the pretext that the camps are not safe; that the camps should be 50 kilometres from the conflict zones in accordance with the permitted and legally recognised distance.

He said the disruption of services has led to a crisis in drinking water, a great shortage of health centres, medical personnel and medicines, this in addition to the impact on the educational process in the camp.

He pointed to a significant shortage of school equipment, books and pamphlets.

Saleh appealed to the UNHCR to resume the suspended services in the three camps.

Regarding the security situation, calm returned following the protests in the camp witnessed last week, when residents protested the murder of a man.

He called on the refugees not to stray long distances away from the camps because of lack of security and the difficulty in identifying and arresting the perpetrators, as well as calling on them not to sabotage the service institutions in the camps.

Correction 12:50, 18/12/2017: The article initially quoted coordinator El Nur Saleh as saying that all aid services in Yida, Ajuong Thok and Pamir have been suspended by the UNHCR. The organisation commented that it has not suspended all aid services. As the Yida refugee settlement is concerned, the relocation of refugees from here is under way. Therefore services are being phased out and moved to the camps of relocation, according to UNHCR.

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