Over 26,000 people flee to Uganda to escape uncertainty in South Sudan
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Andreas Needham – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
Thousands of people continue to flee uncertainty and fighting in South Sudan. Since fighting erupted on July 7 between forces loyal to President Kiir and First Vice President Machar, 26,468 people have crossed into Uganda’s northern region, including 24,321 in the previous six days alone. The influx continues to be characterised by a high proportion of women and children (more than 90%).
Yesterday, an estimated 8,337 refugees crossed in to Uganda from South Sudan, a new record high since the influx began and in 2016. An estimated 6,500 crossed in Elegu, 659 in Moyo, 156 in Lamwo and 642 in Oraba while 380 arrived in Kiryandongo Reception Centre.
The influx is severely stretching the capacity of collection points, transit centres and reception centres. Elegu collection point is full to the extent that it is not possible conduct a head count. New arrivals figures in Elegu are based on an analysis of trends throughout the day. On Wednesday night, more than 7,000 people slept at Elegu collection point, significantly beyond its 1,000-person capacity. Similarly, Kuluba collection point is hosting 1,099 refugees, compared to its 300-person capacity. Torrential rains are further hampering registration efforts.
New arrivals in Adjumani report continued fighting between forces loyal to President Kiir and those loyal to First Vice-President Machar. There are reports that armed gunmen continue to loot properties, forcibly recruit boys and young men, and murder civilians in Magwi.
Another Uganda People’s Defense Force convoy evacuating Ugandan nationals from South Sudan is expected today. On previous occasions, a large number of refugees have taken the opportunity to flee the country by accompanying the convoy.
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