South Kordofan hosts 40,000 South Sudanese refugees: minister

July 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – South Kordofan State is hosting 40,000 South Sudanese refugees, said Minister of Welfare and Social Affairs Awadiya Basha

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Children fetch clean water from ICRC water points in Muglad, Southern Kordofan State (ICRCJ. Guitter/file Photo)

Speaking at a workshop on refugee laws on Sunday, Basha said the government of South Kordofan is committed to granting refugees status for foreign nationals who reach its territory according to international laws.

She said South Sudanese refugees enjoy the state’s limited services including food, health and water, pointing to strong and old relations between the refugees and the residents of the state.

For his part, the housing officer at South Kordofan refugee commission Khalifa Omer Terkawi said most of the South Sudanese refugees are being hosted in Abu Gibaiha and Al-liri localities.

He added the refugees are living in a stable and peaceful environment, pointing to coordination between various government organs and aid groups providing services and protection for 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 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 the 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)