South Sudan Refugees Could Hit 1 Million

South Sudan Refugees Could Hit 1 Million

The number of South Sudanese refugees in East Africa could pass one million this year, the United Nations refugee agency said, calling on armed groups to allow safe passage for people fleeing the latest round of deadly violence.
Ann Encontre, a UN refugee coordinator in South Sudan, said on Friday there was concern about fresh outflows of refugees following clashes in the capital Juba, and appealed for $701 million in relief aid.
On Friday, the UN said at least 300 people had been killed in four days of intense gun battles, and 42,000 had fled the capital, Al Jazeera reported. Even before the resurgence of violence in the past week, hundreds of thousands of refugees had been sheltering in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and elsewhere since civil war began in December 2013.
William Spindler, spokesman for the UN refugee agency, said the number of refugees in neighboring countries was now 835,000.
The recent violence in Juba echoed the fighting that triggered the civil war, marking a fresh blow to last year’s peace deal to end the bitter conflict, which began when President Salva Kiir accused ex-rebel leader and now Vice President Riek Machar of plotting a coup.


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