South Sudan refugees reach one million mark

   - 5 hours ago
   - From the section Africa <>

Image copyright AFP Image caption More than 185,000 people have fled since
July, and more continue to leave
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The number of people who have fled South Sudan because of the country's
civil war has passed the one million mark, the UN refugee agency says.

Fighting that broke out in the capital, Juba, in July is responsible for
the latest surge in those fleeing, it says.

More than 1.6 million people are also displaced within South Sudan, meaning
about 20% of the population have been made homeless since December 2013.

A fragile peace deal signed last year is on the brink of collapse.

   - Africa Live: More on this and other stories

"The violence in July came as a major setback to peace efforts in South
Sudan," the UNHCR spokesman Leo Dobbs said in a statement

The UN says more than 185,000 people have fled South Sudan since July.

"The fighting has shattered hopes for a real breakthrough and triggered new
waves of displacement and suffering, while humanitarian organisations are
finding it very difficult for logistical, security and funding reasons to
provide urgent protection and assistance to the hundreds of thousands in
need," Mr Dobbs said.

*South Sudan refugees:*

   - *Uganda: 373,626* - more than a third of these have arrived since
   July; 20,000 over last week. New arrivals report fighting in south, attacks
   on civilians by armed groups, who loot, sexually assault women and girls
   and recruit boys
   - *Ethiopia: 292,000* - 11,000 crossed into Gambella over the past week.
   New arrivals are from the Nuer group, including 500 children travelling
   alone, fearing renewed conflict after seeing troop movements
   - *Sudan: 247,317* - 1,800 arriving each month in White Nile state,
   floods preventing others
   - *Kenya: 90,000 *- 300 a week fleeing insecurity, economic instability
   and drought
   - *DR Congo: 40,000* - current influx is to Ituri province.


Many of the refugees arriving in Uganda, which hosts the most South
Sudanese, are "exhausted after days walking in the bush and going without
food or water. Many children have lost one or both of their parents", the
UNHCR says.

A fall-out between President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Machar -
the most powerful members of their respective Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups
- led to the civil war which erupted in December 2013.

They only agreed to settle their differences under intense international
pressure, signing a peace deal in August 2015 - and Mr Machar returned to
Juba as vice-president in a unity government in April.

But battles then broke out between his bodyguards and presidential guards
three months later, prompting him to flee.

Another member of his party has been appointed as vice-president, a move Mr
Machar does not recognise.

Earlier this week, a report funded by George Clooney
<> accused both Mr Kiir and
Mr Machar, as well as their officials, of personally profiting from the
war. Both men have denied the allegations.

The UN wants to deploy a 4,000-strong regional protection force for Juba
which would have a more robust mandate than the 12,000 UN soldiers already
in the country, however the mandate and size of the force still have to be

*More on South Sudan's crisis:*
Image copyright Reuters

   - The wounds of war in South Sudan
   - Juba residents: 'We are counting the dead'
   - Five obstacles to peace in South Sudan
   - 'We want peace - and ice cream'

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