UN says over 60,000 South Sudanese refugees enter Sudan in 2017

South Sudanese refugees in Elegu, Uganda. Photo: UNHCR/Will Swanson

Khartoum, March 29, 2017 (SSNA) — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said at least 60,000 South Sudanese have entered Sudan in the first quarter of 2017, saying the increase in a number of people who fled South Sudan has exceeded its expectation.

The UN refugee agency said in a statement that its forecast of 60,000 South Sudanese refugees to arrive in Sudan in this year was wrong and that spike in a number of people who entered Sudan is a sign of “a likely worsening situation” in the war-ravaged young nation.

“The number of new arrivals has surpassed expectations, signalling a likely worsening situation in South Sudan,” the statement reads in part.

UNHCR also said it expects the number of South Sudanese to rise in 2017, expresses concern about a decrease in funding to meet refugees needs, and discloses that there are now more than 365,000 South Sudanese refugees in Sudan.

UN said this month that the number of South Sudan refugees crossing the borders to the neighboring countries has increased, saying most refugees go to Uganda where new arrivals “spiked from 2,000 per day to 6,000 per day in February, and currently average more than 2,800 people per day.”

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