12,600 South Sudan Refugees In Uganda – OPM

Majority of the refugees are from the Dinka community
Majority of the refugees are from the Dinka community

Up to 12,600 South Sudanese nationals have sought asylum in Uganda since fighting started in their country almost three weeks ago.

The refugees who entered through the different borders of Elegu, Adjumani, and Koboko will be sent to different settlement camps in the country.

According to Apollo Kazungu, the commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, the asylum seekers are part of the foreign nationals who fled the conflict.

He said since December 16th at least 4,218 people have been received from Koboko and taken to Arua, while 7,498 others were received from Adjumani and Elego border points. Another 889 people registered with OPM officials in Kiryandongo district.

Kazungu says the government is doing its best to provide the refugees with food and shelter until when the situation comes to normal in South Sudan.

He says most of the victims do not have relatives and friends in Uganda, a situation that has forced them to seek refuge in the state. The refugees are being settled in Rhino Camp in Arua according to the OPM. Kazungu says it is the role of the government to take care of the refugees in order to keep them safe.

South Sudan has witnessed fighting since December 15 in what President Salva Kiir described as a failed coup attempt against his government by sacked Vice President Dr. Riek Machar.

South Sudan’s army, the SPLA, said it was advancing on two rebel-controlled towns as both sides gathered in Ethiopia for peace talks to end the violence that has pushed the world’s youngest nation towards civil war.

Both sides have agreed in principle to a ceasefire but neither has indicated when the fighting, which has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced nearly 200,000, will stop.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency late on Wednesday in Unity state and Jonglei, whose respective provincial capitals of Bentiu and Bor are in the hands of militia loyal to Dr Machar.

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