More than 8,000 South Sudanese entered Uganda on Thursday alone.
A picture taken on July 22, 2016 shows makeshift graves at the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), the UN House for internally displaced persons in the Jebel area in Juba on July 22, 2016. Growing numbers of refugees are crossing into Uganda amidst reports of continued fighting in parts of South Sudan, the United Nations said on Friday.
Growing numbers of refugees are crossing into Uganda amidst reports of continued fighting in parts of South Sudan, the United Nations said on Friday.
More than 8,000 South Sudanese entered Uganda on Thursday alone — the largest daily total this year, the UN refugee agency reported.
Arrivals in Uganda have surpassed 24,000 in the past six days, the agency added. That brings the total number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda to about 230,000.
“The influx is severely stretching the capacity of collection points, transit centres and reception centres,” UN refugee agency spokesman Andreas Needham told reporters on Friday.
Some 7,000 South Sudanese slept on Wednesday night at Elegu collection point, which is intended to accommodate 1,000 people, Mr Needham noted.
“New arrivals in Adjumani report continued fighting between forces loyal to President Kiir and those loyal to First Vice-President Machar,” he said.
“There are reports that armed gunmen continue to loot properties, forcibly recruit boys and young men, and murder civilians in Magwi.”
The new influx follows fighting in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, and other areas that broke out on July 7.
A 10-day-old ceasefire appears to be holding in Juba.
Many refugees are travelling to Uganda by truck now that the 200-kilometre Juba-Nimule road has been cleared of checkpoints, the UN has said.
Thousands more refugees could enter Uganda on Friday, Mr Needham added, noting that another Uganda People’s Defence Force convoy evacuating Ugandan nationals from South Sudan is expected to reach the border.
“On previous occasions, a large number of refugees have taken the opportunity to flee the country by accompanying the convoy,” he said.
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