Over one million refugees have been forced to flee the conflict and violence in South Sudan.
Stream.org reports that South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, but just two years later, internal fighting broke out between government leaders. This sparked an ongoing conflict that has internally displaced 1.6 million people and exiled another million.
South Sudan now ranks among Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia as countries that have displaced over one million refugees.
Many of South Sudan’s refugees are seeking asylum in neighboring countries. Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic have all accepted tens of thousands of South Sudanese refugees.
The U.S. has praised these nations, many of which are poor and dealing with crises themselves, for opening their borders to refugees in need.
Leo Dobbs, a spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, spoke about the conditions the refugees face:
“Many refugees arrive exhausted after days walking in the bush and going without food or water,” Dobbs said. “Many women and girls said they were sexually assaulted during their flight.”
South Sudan has been threatened with an arms embargo if it refuses to accept 4,000 peacekeepers who will work to protect citizens and to end the civil war.
Publication date: September 19, 2016