More than 350,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes in three states in Sudan and South Sudan, according to the UN refugee agency.
Two of the states – South Kordofan and Blue Nile – are in Sudan, while the third – Jonglei – is in the world’s newest nation.
In Blue Nile and South Kordofan, 100,000 people each have been forced out of their homes. Jonglei, in South Sudan, remains the worst affected, with inter-tribal violence having driven 150,000 from their homes.
In the six months since the independence of South Sudan, 360,000 people have arrived in the newly formed nation but Guterres said, “there is almost no economy, no infrastructure”, leaving those arriving to the south with little in terms of integration into the young state.Speaking to Al Jazeera on Friday from the World Economic Forum (WEF) summit in Davos, Switzerland, Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said that the issues facing the three states are ultimately political ones – about borders, oil, and citizenship status after the formation of South Sudan last summer.
“There is never a humanitarian solution for humanitarian problems. The solution is always political,” Guterres said, referring to the situation as a “massive humanitarian emergency”. Read more…
Gunmen have killed at least 51 people – mostly women and children – in the latest clashes in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state, regional governor Kuol Manyang has said.
At least 22 others were injured after attackers raided and burned the village of Duk Padiet, he added.
The wounded have been evacuated to Juba, the capital, he said.
A series of retaliatory attacks between ethnic groups in the region has displaced tens of thousands of people.
“We are expecting more to be injured because they ran to the villages last night,” Mr Manyang said.
Officials told AFP news agency the killings were carried out by the Murle group on ethnic Dinkas, as revenge for a deadly raid last month on the town of Pibor.
It is understood that some Dinkas accompanied some 6,000 Lou Nuer warriors who attacked Pibor. Read more…
Aid groups are mounting a “major emergency operation” in rural South Sudan after tribe-on-tribe violence sent tens of thousands of people fleeing and killed an unknown number of people, the UN said.
The UN says that three whole villages were burned to the ground and aid groups have evacuated 140 people who were wounded.
Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, said on Saturday that aid groups are respondingto a call for help from South Sudan’s central government.
A column of 6,000 armed men from the Lou Nuer ethnic group were reported to have marched into Pibor in Jonglei state to target the Murle community in late December and early January.
Neither the central government or the UN has been able to give a final death toll.
The Juba-based central government says it is launching an investigation. A government official in Jonglei has said that thousands of people were killed but that number has not been corroborated. Read more…