Nearly 60,000 Flee South Sudan for Neighboring States Amid Renewed Violence

© AFP 2022Children soldiers sit on February 10, 2015 with their rifles at a ceremony of the child soldiers disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in South Sudan.
Children soldiers sit on February 10, 2015 with their rifles at a ceremony of the child soldiers disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in South Sudan. - Sputnik International
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Violence in South Sudan has made some 60,000 people flee the country last month, according to UN figures.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some 60,000 people have fled South Sudan for neighboring countries since the violence escalated in the country last month, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

"Refugee flows from South Sudan into Uganda have doubled in the past ten days, bringing the total to more than 52,000 who have entered the country since violence escalated three weeks ago. Kenya has reported the arrival of 1,000 refugees in the same period, while 7,000 have fled to Sudan," UNHCR said in a statement.

In July, the 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan between fighters loyal to President Salva Kiir and Vice President Riek Machar collapsed, with three days of renewed fighting during which more than 300 people were killed. Reports of clashes between rival ethnic-based militias continue, despite a tentative ceasefire agreement. Amid renewed violence, the UN Security Council (UNSC) extended the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan until August 12.

According to the UN agency, over 85 percent of the South Sudanese refugees arriving in Uganda are women and children, many of them having lost one, or both parents.

South-Sudanese man carries a goat as he and others wade through mud-filled paths between makeshift tents in the United Nations base (File) - Sputnik International
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UNHCR stressed that Kenya and Uganda had reported rising cases of severe malnutrition, particularly among very young children. The agency called for improved conditions and capacity at existing reception facilities.

The UN pointed out that there were also people in need inside South Sudan but aid agencies are not always able to help them on time.

An armed ethnic conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, one year and a half after the nation gained independence from Sudan, when Kiir accused Machar of preparing a military coup. About a million people have fled their home due to the conflict, according to UN estimates.

In August 2015, Kiir and Machar signed a peace deal that envisaged the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

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