South Sudan has joined Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as nations that have produced more than a million refugees, as people flee to neighboring countries in the wake of July’s renewed violence, the United Nations said.
More than 185,000 people have escaped to countries including Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and the Central African Republic since violence broke out on July 8, the UN High Commission for Refugees said Friday in an e-mailed statement from its office in the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
A civil war that began in oil-producing South Sudan in December 2013 has left tens of thousands of people dead and forced 1.6 million others to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere in the country. Recent clashes between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his now-former deputy, Riek Machar, threw into turmoil a transitional government designed to end the conflict.
“Without further funding and support, we and our partners will struggle to assist the needy with even the most basic assistance,” the agency said. It called on donors to contribute the remaining four-fifths of a total $701 million needed for South Sudanese refugee operations.
Uganda is home to 373,626 South Sudanese refugees, with more than a third of that number having arrived since early July, while Sudan hosts 247,317 refugees from its southern neighbor, according to the statement.