The commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency says the number of South Sudanese leaving the country for the neighboring states keeps growing every month due to the absence of peace and stability.
Filipo Grande says by August this year, South Sudanese in foreign countries had reached the one million mark.
He says majority of those seeking refuge in Uganda are mostly women, children and other vulnerable groups.
Mr. Grande described the continued violence and its effect on the civil population as “disappointingly tragic.”
Filipo Grande urges the Transitional Government of National Unity and the region to expedite efforts in finding a long-lasting solution to the conflict.
“I just want to –on behalf of those two million refugees – add my voice to the others, to appeal to the countries in the region, and to the leadership of South Sudan, to exercise responsibility and find quickly and urgently a political solution to this tragedy,” he stated.
A report issued by UNMISS this week indicates that as of 14 September, the total number of civilians seeking safety in six UN camps is 200,000; while over 30,000 are camping in the area adjacent to UNMISS in Wau.
The head of UNMISS, David Shearer, says most areas in South Sudan are being reached by humanitarian services, while access to some critical areas are impeded by restriction from both government and armed opposition groups:
“What we need to be able to do is to have regular and sustained access to those areas. And that is not just an issue of the government; it’s also an issue of the opposition as well.”
For his part, the First Vice President Taban Deng says the transitional government views unrestricted access for humanitarian organization as a crucial component for saving lives.
He called on donors to also ensure there are funds provided for developmental projects in order to make peace attractive.
“We need to consider a balanced approach of both humanitarian and development, in order to make peace a sustainable event. Both President Salva Kiir and myself have agreed that there is no other viable option,” Taban said.
The UN Chiefs and the First Vice President were speaking at a high-level meeting on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, held at the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday.