Over 1 mln South Sudanese forced to flee their homes: UNHCR
GENEVA, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- The number of South Sudanese who have taken refugee in neighboring countries topped the one-million mark this week, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported Friday.
This includes some 185,000 people who fled the African nation's capital Juba in July following an upsurge in violence.
Women and children make up most of those fleeing clashes between followers of President Salva Kiir and supporters of former first Vice President Riek Machar, UNHCR indicated.
"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 logistic, security and funding reasons to provide urgent protection and assistance to hundreds in need," UNHCR said in a statement.
This also means that aid agencies are finding it increasingly challenging to cater to the needs of the 1.61 million people who have been internally displaced since the conflict began in December 2013.
According to figures, most refugees who have fled the war-struck country have sought refugee in Uganda, where 373,626 South Sudanese have arrived.
More than 292,000 individuals have found safe haven in Ethiopia, with a further 247,317 located in Sudan.
Smaller numbers of South Sudanese refugees have fled to Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.
Latest refugee numbers mean that South Sudan joins Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as states which have seen over one million of their citizens flee their country.