Sudan witnesses a new influx of South Sudanese refugees who have fled the clashes in Juba over the past weekend, in addition to the continuous arrivals of South Sudanese, mainly in East Darfur.
As of 3 July, 79,571 people from South Sudan had arrived in Sudan since 1 January 2016, of whom 53,273 in East Darfur state, the United Nations' humanitarian office (OCHA) reported last week. This was before heavy fighting erupted between government and opposition forces in Juba on Friday 8 July and continued for four days.
The situation has caused a new wave of South Sudanese refugees fleeing to Sudan. Their numbers are yet to be determined, Sudan's humanitarian aid commissioner said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The emergency department at the Ministry of Health stated the same day that Sudanese aid groups provide health services at refugee camps in the states of White Nile, North and South Darfur. A plan is being made to provide medical staff to the camps.
OCHA reports on the situation in East Darfur, that has received the majority (over 65 percent) of the refugees since the beginning of 2016. The World Food Programme and Sudanese Red Crescent Society provided one-month food rations for nearly 37,000 South Sudanese refugees in June. They have taken shelter in Khor Omer, Abu Jabra, El Ferdous and Abu Matarig.
Registration and verification of the remaining South Sudanese is ongoing, OCHA reported. The office gathered refugee numbers from all states where South Sudanese have arrived since the beginning of this year. Many have fled to East Darfur, White Nile and South Darfur.
In December 2013, a civil war erupted in South Sudan between government troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and fighters of the opposition (SPLM-IO) loyal to Riek Machar, who was sacked as Vice-President of the country. The fighting spread from Juba to numerous states. Unity and Upper Nile states in the north of the country were severely affected and many people became refugees as they fled from the fighting between the Dinka tribesmen loyal to Kiir or the Nuer of Machar, or groups of defected soldiers or rebels.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than two million have been displaced, while many have sought refuge in Sudan and neighbouring countries. After long-lasting negotiations, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal in August 2015.