17 January 2014

Sudanese Refugees in South Sudan Are Facing Disaster, SRRA Says

Khartoum — The humanitarian wing of the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) has called on the international community to rescue Sudanese refugees in South Sudan saying they are facing another disaster.

Since the start of hostilities in South Sudan on 15 December, the fighting very quickly spread to the Unity and Upper Nile states where reside some 250,000 refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile state.

The increasing insecurity in the two South Sudanese states pushed the UN agencies and aid groups to move their staff from the refugees camps, as the fighting also led to stop food delivery to the camps.

"If the fighting continues we will soon face a humanitarian catastrophe. We call on the international community to help the Sudanese citizens trapped in the two areas and the refugees who have already fled from fighting in their own country, only to be trapped in yet another cycle of violence," read a statement released by the Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SRRA).

The rebel SRRA further said that "Supplies brought by boat from Juba-Adok-Lier to the Nuba refugees in Yida in Unity State and Juba-Bor-Malakal to the Blue Nile refugees in Maban county in Upper Nile, have also stopped".

Also roads between Juba-Rumbek-Bentiu-Yida and Juba-Bor-Malakal-Maban are extremely insecure, because of the ongoing fighting between the forces loyal to president Salva Kiir and those loyal to his former vice-president Riek Machar.

The SRRA said "deeply concerned" for the security of the refugees near the border areas, warning that the fighting which is not far from camps in the two states, " could easily engulf these camps".

The SRRA also called on "all its former comrades in South Sudan" to reach an immediate cease-fire to allow resumption of relief operations for Sudanese and South Sudanese, "and to find a political solution to the crisis".

In a different development the SPLM-N said in a separate release they destroyed a tank and a number of military vehicles during an ambush against a Sudanese army convoy on Friday in Jabel Malken area in the Blue Nile state.

SPLM-N spokesperson, Arno Lodi, said they captured two tanks, three machine guns, 17 vehicles and ammunitions.

The Sudanese army did not issue a statement on the attack while its spokesperson Al-Sawarmi Khaled was not available due to the weekend break.

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