Refugee brings taste of Sudan to Utah, leaves behind pain, destruction, death

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A smile lights up Kaltum Mohamed’s face as she readies the ingredients for a dish called moshakl she often cooked in Nyala, her hometown in the war-torn Darfur region of southwest Sudan.

She loves cooking African dishes and takes pride in her craft.

Kaltum, her husband, Ahmed, and their two children escaped the genocidal slaughter in Darfur in 2004. They fled to Libya, where things later turned deadly as well.

Recently, in the comfort of their South Salt Lake apartment, Kaltum sliced zucchinis, eggplants, potatoes and onions to prepare the dish, a fried and seasoned medley of vegetables. To accompany it, she would create asida, a boiled flour pudding served with dagareda, a meat and tomato sauce seasoned with garlic, cumin, black pepper, dill weed and parsley.

It’s a lot of work, but she dove into it with a sense of purpose.

Fighting in Darfur continues — ethnic cleansing supported by leaders in Khartoum, the capital in the eastern part of Sudan. Khartoum and the surrounding area are dominated by Arab Muslims. Darfur, by contrast, is made up primarily of black Muslims, while South Sudan is predominantly black Christians.

“In Darfur, people would come and kill everything they see,” Kaltum said. “We were so afraid we would lose our kids.”

Some of her extended family members, she lamented, were killed.

They escaped to Benghazi, Libya, in 2005, where Kaltum and Ahmed had three more children before that country disintegrated into civil war. In 2011, they retreated again, this time seeking shelter in a dusty and precarious refugee camp on the Libyan-Egyptian border.

“It was a very harsh time for us in the camp,” she said. “Thank God for the U.N. peacekeepers.”

Their luck changed in April 2013, when the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees selected them for immigration to the United States.

Refugees do not get to choose where the U.N. will send them. Under the Obama administration, this country accepted 110,000 refugees each year. President Donald Trump said he will cut that number in half.

The Mohamed family members were sponsored by the International Rescue Committee. Kaltum also gets support from Women of the World (womenofworld.org), a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit that seeks to help refugees assimilate into American culture. Four years after their arrival, they seem at peace in Utah.

Kaltum’s kitchen is stocked with large pots and pans. She is used to cooking for big gatherings, she explained, stirring and seasoning the vegetables.

Memories flood back as she fixes the asida, a dish she regularly made in Sudan. “It reminds me of my [extended] family,” she said. “We often gathered to eat together.”

Her hometown, Nyala, is a trading center known for its textiles and leather goods. Ahmed owned a small clothing shop there. The couple had a comfortable home in the bustling city of half a million. Life was good, Kaltum said.

She recalled her childhood, when she and her schoolmates dressed in nice uniforms and grew up in tranquility. At soccer games, they cheered and sang glorious songs about their country.

“It was beautiful and peaceful,” she said. “But then we lost everything.”

Ahmed was ordered out of his store at gunpoint. There was no going back.

The unrest in Sudan and the accompanying genocide are the products of ethnic prejudices, oil money and the expansion of the Sahara that is making arable land scarcer in Darfur.

South Sudan is rich in oil. But most of the profits were kept in Khartoum, near the northern ports on the Red Sea, where it is exported, mostly to China. That is chief among reasons why South Sudan broke away from Sudan in July 2011.

The oil money financed Khartoum’s aggression in Darfur. It paid for bombers, helicopter gunships and financed the Janjaweed, the Sudanese Arab militias made up of herdsmen who raid towns and villages on horseback, burning houses, raping and killing the black Muslim residents.

An estimated 480,000 people have been killed in Darfur, according to the U.N. Some 2.8 million have been displaced.

Despite those horrors, Kaltum and her family have been able to move on.

Their eldest daughter, Masagid, 19, shares her mother’s sunny disposition and infectious smile. She attends Salt Lake Community College training to become a dental hygienist.

Her other daughters, Maazah, 7, and Manra, 8, attend public school, as do sons, Abdul,11, and Mohamed, 16. They act like regular, fun-loving kids.

Ahmed works at a chocolate factory, and Kaltum has a fledgling Sudanese catering business called Mother of All. Recently, she began operating a food truck and sells Sudanese dishes around the valley.

“We are happy to have a new life,” Kaltum said. “We are happy to be safe in America.”

Traditionally, Sudanese eat with their fingers, as do the people of many other African countries. The asida (flour pudding) and dagareda (tomato meat sauce) are served in a common bowl. Diners use their fingers to pull away a piece of asida and swipe it through the dagareda. The combination yields a full-bodied taste sensation. The moshakl ­(seasoned vegetables) compliments it with a fresh, light touch; spicy but not overbearing.

Her food truck brings a taste of Sudan to Utah. Kaltum loves that thought.

csmart@sltrib.com

New report blames South Sudan military for civilian deaths

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In this photo taken Monday, June 19, 2017, Elizabeth Adwok, left, an ethnic Shilluk who arrived with her seven children in April after having been forcefully displaced from her home three times since South Sudan’s conflict began, cooks sorghum in her small hut in the village of Aburoc, South Sudan where she lives with other displaced people. A new report by Amnesty International says South Sudanese forces burned, shelled and ransacked homes between January and May, killing civilians and forcing thousands from the Shilluk ethnic minority to flee. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)

Albin Koolekheh watched his 4-year-old son die in his arms. He and his family were among tens of thousands of people who escaped a wave of fighting in South Sudan’s civil war, only to find themselves living in a filthy camp near the border with Sudan.

A new report by Amnesty International says South Sudanese forces burned, shelled and ransacked homes between January and May, killing civilians and forcing thousands like Koolekheh from the Shilluk ethnic minority to flee.

“Even considering South Sudan’s history of ethnic hostility,” the mass displacement was shocking, the report says.

As South Sudan faces its fourth year of civil war, the fighting shows no signs of ending. Both government and opposition forces have been accused of war crimes including mass rape and targeted killings, while the United Nations warns of ethnic violence. While the focus has been on ethnic tensions between the Dinka of President Salva Kiir and the Nuer of rebel leader Riek Machar, the new report highlights the threat to others caught in the crossfire.

When government troops attacked his hometown of Wau Shilluk in January, Koolekheh grabbed his wife and three children and left. After a day of walking through the bush, his youngest son fell sick. With no food or water, the boy died on the side of the road.

“Bullets, guns, screaming, it was everywhere,” the weary 32-year-old father told The Associated Press this week. “This violence is known to the world. But what is everyone doing about it?”

Now Koolekheh crouches on the dirt floor in the back room of a small shop, scrubbing metal bowls with a rag, his eyes fixed on the floor.

He and his family are sheltering in Aburoc, an ad hoc displaced person’s camp. At the peak of the fighting, 25,000 people were living in this bleak shantytown. Now roughly 10,000 remain, the rest gone to Sudan or nearby villages.

Makeshift houses with plastic roofs are scattered across muddy fields. Food is scarce and disease is rife. A cholera outbreak threatened the population in May.

Yet many have no choice but to call this town home. This is their third or fourth attempt at finding refuge in less than six months after being uprooted over and over by violence.

Satellite imagery collected by Amnesty International shows the destruction of homes and other civilian buildings, including a temple, in the central areas of Wau Shilluk.

The group’s report says government troops often deliberately killed civilians, shooting them in the back when they tried to flee.

“These accounts are unfounded,” said a South Sudan military spokesman, Col. Santo Domic Chol. He said it isn’t within the military’s mandate to kill civilians and chase them from their homes.

Yet stories abound of families fleeing for their lives.

When government forces attacked the nearby opposition-held town of Kodok three months ago, Victoria Adhong said she fled and will never go back. Although Aburoc is currently peaceful, Adhong, the acting governor of Fashoda state, said it’s hard to feel safe when the “enemy’s next door.”

Another of the displaced, Elizabeth Adwok, said she fled Kodok with her seven children amid gunfire. They arrived in Aburoc in April and have struggled to find food, with little in the market and prices high.

“We’re not here because we like it,” Adwok said. “But we have nothing.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross, one of the few organizations with a presence in Aburoc, warned that with the onset of the rainy season things will only get worse.

“Access to food, water and health care is extremely limited,” said Matthieu Desselas, head of the office in Kodok.

But for the thousands of civilians already so far from their homes, this town is their last hope.

“It’s the only place left for me in South Sudan,” Koolekheh said. “I’ll stay here until there’s peace.”

Pope Pledges More Than $500,000 in South Sudan Aid

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Pope Francis is offering 460,000 euros (more than $500,000) in aid for South Sudan to help finance two hospitals, a school and farm equipment.

The Associated Press

In this photo taken Monday, June 19, 2017, a displaced family carrying their belongings walks in search of refuge towards the village of Aburoc, South Sudan. A new report by Amnesty International says South Sudanese forces burned, shelled and ransacked homes between January and May, killing civilians and forcing thousands from the Shilluk ethnic minority to flee. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is offering 460,000 euros (more than $500,000) in aid for South Sudan to help finance two hospitals, a school and farm equipment.

Francis had hoped to visit South Sudan in October to draw attention to the plight of its people faced with starvation and civil war, but called off the trip because the conditions wouldn’t permit it.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, Francis’ point-man for peace and refugee issues, said Wednesday the aid project aims to show his personal solidarity with South Sudan’s people.

The money will go to help fund two hospitals run by the Combonian missionary sisters, a primary school run by a humanitarian group “Solidarity with South Sudan” and an agricultural project run by the Vatican’s Caritas foundation.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

South Sudan faces acute fuel shortage

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June 20, 2017 (JUBA) – Fuel shortage in South Sudan worsened on Tuesday amid reports of massive corruption in the national oil supplier, Nile Petroleum (NilePet), with a liter costing 110 South Sudan Pound, the highest price for gasoline ever recorded.

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Motorcycles line up for hours to get fuel before it runs out July 18, 2012 in Juba, South Sudan. (Getty)

Early this week, commuters and public transport system were paralysed in the capital Juba and government departments closed.

A government administrator said his ministry’s offices remained closed this week, due to shortage of fuel to power the generator.

“We have sent many, very many letters to NilePet requesting fuel for our generator for the last three weeks but never got a single litter because we did not pay bribes. A liter costs 22 SSP at the station but you have to pay extra 8 SSP per litter and extra 5,000 SSP to the national security to escort the fuel tank to the ministry,” the ministry official, who asked not to be identified, told Sudan Tribune Tuesday.

NilePet imports fuel from neighbouring East African countries since oil producing South Sudan has no oil refinery, but only one-third of fuel demands is covered and sold at official price of 22 SSP per litter, a quarter of the black market price of about 160 SSP or $1 per litter. But on Tuesday, a liter of petrol reached its highest level ever.

“Right now, water bottle of one and half litters costs 220 SSP. That means, a litter is sold at least 140 SSP,” said Peter, a taxi driver.

Mary Achai, a black market dealer, confirmed the souring price, attributing it to lack fuel and rising prices of food items in the market.

“We [black market dealers] buy this fuel from the Security [officials] at a very price and had to make a little profit,” explained Achai.

NilePet has, however, denied manipulating fuel supplies for it benefits and in a statement issued on Tuesday said several fuel tanks were heading to Juba from Nimule at South Sudan- Uganda border.

In various locations of the South Sudanese capital, the average price for a litter of fuel went for 115 SSP, which is six times the official price.

(ST)

Sudan military helicopter crashes killing crew: army

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The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to

The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to “bad weather” in state capital Dongola, army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa Shami said in a statement.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

A Sudanese military helicopter has crashed in Northern State, killing all four crew members on board, the army said on Wednesday, in the latest accident to hit its ageing fleet.

The Russian-built Mi-17 helicopter crashed late on Tuesday due to “bad weather” in state capital Dongola, army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa Shami said in a statement.

“All four crew members on board were martyred.”

Sudan’s fleet of Russian-manufactured aircraft has suffered several crashes in recent years, with the military frequently blaming technical problems and bad weather.

In April 2016, a Soviet-era Antonov An-26 transport plane crashed while landing in El Obeid, capital of North Kordofan state. All five crew members on board were killed.

In June 2013, two air force crew died when their helicopter crashed in war-torn Blue Nile state, just a week after one went down in South Kordofan state, another war zone.

The military has relied heavily on air power in its campaign against rebel groups in Blue Nile, South Kordofan and Darfur.

Rebels often claim to have shot down military aircraft in Sudan’s conflict zones.

UN-BACKED REPORT: SOUTH SUDAN NO LONGER CLASSIFIED AS IN FAMINE

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An estimated 6 million people, half the population, are expected to be severely food insecure.

Residents from South Sudan pictured at the protection of civilians (PoC) site adjacent to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base. Picture: United Nations.

Residents from South Sudan pictured at the protection of civilians (PoC) site adjacent to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) base. Picture: United Nations.

JUBA – South Sudan is no longer classified as being in famine, although 45,000 people in Jonglei and Unity states are expected to remain in famine-like conditions and the situation is still very critical, a UN-backed food security report said on Wednesday.

An estimated six million people, half the population, are expected to be severely food insecure this month and next, the report said.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report was based on a survey by a working group including government and UN officials.

PICTURES: US envoy to Sudan pushes for aid in ex-rebel bastion

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 Steven Koutsis (File: AFP)

Steven Koutsis (File: AFP)

Golo – The top US envoy in Sudan pushed on Monday for more access to deliver humanitarian aid to Golo as he visited the former rebel stronghold in war-torn Darfur under tight security.

US charge d’affaires Steven Koutsis was in Golo as part of a tour to assess the security situation in Darfur as the United Nations prepares to downsize its 17 000-strong peacekeeping force.

Koutsis’ visit to the town surrounded by the thickly forested mountains of Jebel Marra comes weeks before President Donald Trump’s administration decides whether to permanently lift a two-decades old US trade embargo on Sudan.

“Golo is a strategic area for providing humanitarian assistance,” he told officials and security officers he met in a tightly secured building, an AFP correspondent reported from the venue.

Khartoum restricts the access of international media to Darfur and particularly to Jebel Marra, which foreign media have been unable to visit for years.

“That is why we are here to understand better what is needed to bring more assistance here,” Koutsis said.

Aid workers have complained that delivering aid to Golo and other parts of Jebel Marra has been extremely difficult given the terrain and the severe restrictions imposed by the Sudanese authorities.

They say a road journey to Golo is a challenging experience in itself, with several hours needed to reach the town given its location in the hilly areas of central Darfur.

The Sudan Liberation Army – Abdul Wahid group (SLA/AW) were attracted to Golo because of the region’s wealth of natural resources, its fertile ground and mountainous terrain.

Crowds of children and villagers gather to welcome Steven Koutsis (3rd-R), the United States’ top envoy in Sudan, in the war-torn town of Golo in the thickly forested mountainous area of Jebel Marra in central Darfur . (AFP)

The main rebel group of Jebel Marra turned Golo into their stronghold until it came under government control last year.

Pleas for aid 

A 90-minute helicopter flight brought Koutsis to Golo, where he was welcomed by cheering children who poured out from their homes to a makeshift helipad where the chopper landed.

Children ran behind his convoy of armoured vehicles as it travelled down a rocky road while groups of women watched the motorcade from the street.

The impact of the fighting on Jebel Marra is clear in Golo.

The town is rife with half-built brick homes damaged in the fighting, muddy roads and queues of women and children waiting to collect water in plastic cans from hand pumps.

An official from Sudan Humanitarian Commission told Koutsis that Golo needed better infrastructure, including well-built schools, roads and healthcare facilities.

“Many classes are held in school rooms without roofs,” said Abdo Aldeem.

Workers at Golo’s only hospital say they are struggling to deal with malnutrition among children and provide better care for pregnant women.

Several children suffering from severe malnutrition are being treated at the hospital, the AFP correspondent accompanying Koutsis reported. The walls of the hospital still had pro-rebel graffiti.

“Only yesterday a child died,” a Unicef worker said.

Jebel Marra saw pitched battles last year between government forces and the SLA/AW group, which Khartoum accuses of ambushing military convoys and attacking civilians.

In September, Amnesty International accused Sudanese forces of carrying out chemical attacks during military operation against the rebel group.

‘Big assistance’ 

Sudanese officials including President Omar al-Bashir have denied these charges.

Tens of thousands of people were displaced in Jebel Marra in last year’s fighting, the United Nations says.

 United States’ top envoy in Sudan, Steven Koutsis (C), poses for a photograph next to North Darfur deputy governor Mohamed al-Nabi (C-L) and other officials.(AFP)

Deadly conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency.

At least 300 000 people have since been killed and 2.5 million displaced in Darfur, the UN says.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on alleged war crimes and genocide charges related to Darfur, which he denies.

On Monday, Koutsis also pushed for a strong presence of UN peacekeeping forces in Golo and other parts of Jebel Marra – an area where UN forces are still not deployed.

Steven Koutsis (R), the United States’ top envoy in Sudan, poses for a picture with Sudanese children and villagers in the war-torn town of Golo in the thickly forested mountainous area of Jebel Marra in central Darfur.(AFP) 

He said that although UNAMID is expected to be restructured, its forces need to be present in Jebel Marra.

“We need to have UNAMID present here… to offer big assistance to the local region,” he said.

Access for delivering humanitarian aid and ensuring security in Darfur are key conditions insisted by Washington in order to lift sanctions imposed on Sudan in 1997.

Although Washington believes Khartoum’s terror ties have ebbed, it has kept sanctions in place because of the scorched-earth tactics it has used against ethnic minority rebels in Darfur.

US envoy to Sudan pushes for aid in ex-rebel bastion

Link to web article here.

Displaced civilians sit on the ground after receiving relief supplies ahead of moving into a new camp in Bentiu, South Sudan June 18, 2017. Photo: Reuters

The top US envoy in Sudan pushed Monday for more access to deliver humanitarian aid to Golo as he visited the former rebel stronghold in war-torn Darfur under tight security.

US charge d’affaires Steven Koutsis was in Golo as part of a tour to assess the security situation in Darfur as the United Nations prepares to downsize its 17,000-strong peacekeeping force.

Koutsis’s visit to the town surrounded by the thickly forested mountains of Jebel Marra comes weeks before President Donald Trump’s administration decides whether to permanently lift a two-decades-old US trade embargo on Sudan.

“Golo is a strategic area for providing humanitarian assistance,” he told officials and security officers he met in a tightly secured building, an AFP correspondent reported from the venue.

Khartoum restricts the access of international media to Darfur and particularly to Jebel Marra, which foreign media have been unable to visit for years.

“That is why we are here to understand better what is needed to bring more assistance here,” Koutsis said.

Aid workers have complained that delivering aid to Golo and other parts of Jebel Marra has been extremely difficult given the terrain and the severe restrictions imposed by the Sudanese authorities.

They say a road journey to Golo is a challenging experience in itself, with several hours needed to reach the town given its location in the hilly areas of central Darfur.

The Sudan Liberation Army – Abdul Wahid group (SLA/AW) were attracted to Golo because of the region’s wealth of natural resources, its fertile ground and mountainous terrain.

The main rebel group of Jebel Marra turned Golo into their stronghold until it came under government control last year.

Pleas for aid

A 90-minute helicopter flight brought Koutsis to Golo, where he was welcomed by cheering children who poured out from their homes to a makeshift helipad where the chopper landed.

Children ran behind his convoy of armoured vehicles as it travelled down a rocky road while groups of women watched the motorcade from the street.

The impact of the fighting on Jebel Marra is clear in Golo.

The town is rife with half-built brick homes damaged in the fighting, muddy roads and queues of women and children waiting to collect water in plastic cans from hand pumps.

An official from Sudan Humanitarian Commission told Koutsis that Golo needed better infrastructure, including well-built schools, roads and healthcare facilities.

“Many classes are held in school rooms without roofs,” said Abdo Aldeem.

Workers at Golo’s only hospital say they are struggling to deal with malnutrition among children and provide better care for pregnant women.

Several children suffering from severe malnutrition are being treated at the hospital, the AFP correspondent accompanying Koutsis reported. The walls of the hospital still had pro-rebel graffiti.

“Only yesterday a child died,” a UNICEF worker said.

Jebel Marra saw pitched battles last year between government forces and the SLA/AW group, which Khartoum accuses of ambushing military convoys and attacking civilians.

In September, Amnesty International accused Sudanese forces of carrying out chemical attacks during a military operation against the rebel group.

Big assistance

Sudanese officials including President Omar al-Bashir have denied these charges.

Tens of thousands of people were displaced in Jebel Marra in last year’s fighting, the United Nations says.

Deadly conflict broke out in Darfur in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency.

At least 300,000 people have since been killed and 2.5 million displaced in Darfur, the UN says.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on alleged war crimes and genocide charges related to Darfur, which he denies.

On Monday, Koutsis also pushed for a strong presence of UN peacekeeping forces in Golo and other parts of Jebel Marra — an area where UN forces are still not deployed.

He said that although UNAMID is expected to be restructured, its forces need to be present in Jebel Marra.

“We need to have UNAMID present here… to offer big assistance to the local region,” he said.

Access for delivering humanitarian aid and ensuring security in Darfur are key conditions insisted by Washington in order to lift sanctions imposed on Sudan in 1997.

The sanctions were imposed over Khartoum’s alleged support for Islamist groups.

Although Washington believes Khartoum’s terror ties have ebbed, it has kept sanctions in place because of the scorched-earth tactics it has used against ethnic minority rebels in Darfur.

AFP

More S. Sudanese refugees flee into Sudan: UNHCR

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South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State receive humanitarian assistance on 27 February 2017 (SUNA photo)
June 17, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – South Sudanese refugees have continued to flee into neighbouring Sudan, seeking safety in the country it seceded from five years ago.

As of 31 May, the refugee population in South Sudan stood at 272,935 individuals, consisting of 65,781 households spread in 21 different locations across South Sudan, the U.N refugee agency (UNHCR), said.

In April, South Sudan received 1,493 new arrivals mainly from Sudan’s South Kordofan, and registered 2,397 new born babies mainly from Sudan’s South Kordofan region. 52% of the refugees are female, with women and children representing 82% of the total population.

The Sudanese refugee population remains the largest at 251,767 individuals (92%) followed by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 14,541 individuals (5%), Ethiopia 4,739 individuals (2%) and Central African Republic (CAR)1,853 (1%). The majority (90%) of these refugees are hosted in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity regions.

More than 375,000 South Sudanese — nearly 90% of them women and children — have fled to Sudan since the outbreak of civil war in 2013. Only Uganda, with 883,000 registered arrivals, hosts more South Sudanese refugees than does Sudan.

Some 23,000 South Sudanese, according to UNHCR crossed into Sudan last month, bringing the total so far this year to 108,000.

The UN estimates that up to 50,000 additional South Sudanese could flee to Sudan in the next month as fighting and hunger intensify in areas near the border.

The U.N lacks the resources needed to respond adequately to this mass exodus. A plea for $167 million to care for South Sudan refugees in Sudan is less than 10% funded.

The Khartoum-based Sudan government has been cooperating with efforts to assist refugees from the territory it formerly ruled. Sudanese authorities have also agreed to open three “humanitarian corridors” into South Sudan to enable food and other aid to reach vulnerable civilians more quickly.

(ST)

World refugee crisis growing, fastest in South Sudan

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World refugee crisis growing, fastest in South Sudan

The number of refugees in the world by the end of 2016 hit record high of 65.5 million, an increase of 300,000 people over the previous year as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations.

This figure was disclosed in a report by the United Nation refugee agency (UNHCR) ahead of the World Refugee Day on Tuesday.

South-Sudan remained as the country with the fastest-growing refugee population with 64 per cent increase by mid-2016 from 854,100 to over 1.4 million. About half of this population was children.

In total, about 3.3 million South Sudanese had fled their homes by the end of 2016 – including 1.9 million IDPs and 1.4 million refugees in neighbouring countries – in what is known as the fastest-growing displacement of people in the world.

The figure illustrates the need for countries and communities supporting refugees and other displaced people to be robustly resourced and supported.

South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Afghanistan produced 55 per cent of all refugees worldwide.

5.5 million people in South Sudan are expected to be severely food insecure by mid 2017 due to the conflict and the poor economy, the report predicts.

The report indicates that developing countries host the majority of the world’s refugees with about 84 per cent of the people in low- or middle-income countries as of end 2016.

In Africa, Uganda hosts the highest number of refugees, nearly a million; followed by Ethiopia (791,631); DR Congo (451,956); and Kenya (451,099).

On June 22, Uganda will host the solidarity summit on refugees, jointly organized with the UN Refugee Agency, to raise money to manage and find solutions to the crisis.

In neighbouring Sudan, there are an estimated 8,500 Chadian refugees while Chad hosts 317,000 Sudanese refugees.

The two countries and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) signed two separate tripartite agreements in May on the voluntary return of the refugees to their countries.

UNHCR is calling for support of countries hosting refugees as the numbers are likely to rise due to ongoing conflicts.

“The figure illustrates the need for countries and communities supporting refugees and other displaced people to be robustly resourced and supported,” the agency said.

“This huge imbalance reflects several things including the continuing lack of consensus internationally when it comes to refugee hosting and the proximity of many poor countries to regions of conflict,” it added.

The world marks the annual World Refugee Day on June 20, 2017 to reflect on the crisis and to find solutions.