Sudan’s White Nile to transfer South Sudanese refugees from overcrowded camp


South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State receive humanitarian assistance on 27 February 2017 (SUNA photo)

June 12, 2018 (RABAK) – The government of the White Nile State said it would transfer 25,000 South Sudanese refugees from an overcrowded camp to a newly erected camp in July.

More than 25,000 South Sudanese refugees would be transferred from the overcrowded Khor Al-Waral camp to Al-Jami’ia camp in Al-Salam locality.

The director of the department of organizations and refugee affairs at the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) in White Nile Mustafa al-Fadil said the transfer of refugees aims to reduce overcrowding and prevent the spread of epidemics.

He pointed out that the move comes in line with the international charters that prevent overcrowding inside refugee camps, saying the transfer of refugees would be carried out in coordination with aid groups and humanitarian work partners.

In August 2017, Sudanese interior ministry said it decided to divide Khor Al-Waral camp into three camps, together with a number of measures to control the security situation.

The decision came five days after riots occurred at Khor Al-Waral camp where a mob of refugees set fires to tents before to looting stores and humanitarian services buildings. Also, there were reports that four Sudanese teachers have been raped.

Earlier this year, the chairman of the technical coordination committee for refugee affairs in White Nile State, Altayeb Mohamed Abdallah said the number of South Sudanese refugees in his state has reached 150,000 refugees.

Over 2 million South Sudanese refugees have been displaced as a result of the conflict that hit the world’s youngest nation in mid-December 2013.

According to the UN Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), as of 15 January 2018, the total South Sudanese refugee population in Sudan stood at 770,110.

Other sources estimate a total of 1.3 million South Sudanese refugees in Sudan, but this data requires verification.

South Sudanese refugees in Sudan have reportedly been distributed in four states including the White Nile, South Kordofan, East Darfur and Khartoum states, amid concerns the current numbers will rise.

In August 2016, Sudan officially declared that South Sudanese fleeing war in their country will be treated as refugees, which opens the door for the UN to provide them with aid and fund aid programs.

The UNHCR said 3,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in Sudan in the first half of January 2018.

According to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), an estimated 200,000 new South Sudanese refugees are anticipated to arrive in Sudan in 2018.

(ST)