World Refugee Council calls for international response to South Sudan refugee crisis

Posted: June 15, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Press Release

Kuel refugee camp

Gatwech interviewing a woman under her tent in Kule-2 Refugee Camp.JPG

June 15, 2017 (SSB) — The exodus of refugees fleeing conflict in South Sudan is a humanitarian tragedy that Uganda and other neighboring countries should not bear alone, according to the newly formed World Refugee Council.

The Council called on other nations to share the responsibility for protecting refugees, assisting host communities and providing robust support for next week’s Solidarity Summit on Refugees, jointly organized by the UN Refugee Agency, the United Nations and the government of Uganda.

The Council convened for the first time in Geneva this week to consider the dimensions of—and more importantly—solutions to the global refugee crisis. The Council will bring an independent voice to one of the most difficult issues of our time. The situation of South Sudanese refugees is symptomatic of deeper problems in the refugee system that the Council will seek to address.

Since civil war broke out in December 2013, almost two million people have fled South Sudan in search of safety from the horrific violence affecting their communities. Two million more people have been displaced inside the country, while hundreds of thousands of civilians have sought protection in the compounds of UN Peacekeepers. Gender-based violence is rampant.

The UN Special Adviser has warned that there is a “strong risk of genocide” and the UN Security Council noted earlier this year that targeting of civilians by all sides may constitute war crimes. As a result of the conflict, food production has declined 40 percent in the past year and over 5 million people are at risk of famine.

For the past year, an average of 40,000 South Sudanese refugees have entered Uganda every month, 86 percent of whom are women and children. Other refugees from South Sudan have crossed into Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya.

Uganda is now the largest refugee-hosting state in Africa with around 1.2 million refugees, 900,000 of whom are from South Sudan. Uganda has traditionally taken a progressive approach to hosting refugees, offering them freedom of movement and immediate access to its labor market, as well as developing innovative approaches to supporting refugee self-reliance. But continued implementation of these policies depends on greater international support and responsibility sharing.

To read more about the World Refugee Council and see the full list of Council members, visit: worldrefugeecouncil.org.

Media Contacts: 

Sean Zohar, CIGI Communications Advisor, szohar@cigionline.org, +1 519 497 9112

Jeff Stoub (Geneva), CIGI Communications Manager, jstoub@cigionline.org, +1 514 466 5333

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing from.

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