UN agency says civilians in South Sudan keep flocking to Ethiopia as fight between government forces, rebels continues
ADDIS ABABA (AA)-Civilians in South Sudan kept flocking in large numbers to Ethiopia as fight between government forces and rebels continued in the world’s youngest nation, a UN agency said.
“As of July 31, 2017, Ethiopia hosts 382,322 South Sudanese refugees,” United Nations refugee agency’s (UNHCR) Associate External Relations and Reporting Officer Diana Diaz told Anadolu Agency.
“The total number of arrivals since January 1 is 36,939, bringing the total number since the onset of the emergency in September 2016 to over 90,000,” Diaz said, adding that the average of daily new arrivals is 175 persons.
According to her, 65 percent of the total registered new arrivals since September 2016 are children, including 19,848 unaccompanied and separated children.
Since late July, government forces stepped up fight in and around rebel stronghold Pagak and on August 6 government claimed Pagak fell under its control following heavy fighting with rebels loyal to former First Vice President Riek Machar, who is under house arrest in South Africa.
Since then Pagak has been changing hands between government forces and rebels known as South Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement.
South Sudan slid into political and military chaos in mid-December 2013 when President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar on suspicion of a coup plot, an allegation Machar denied.
A peace deal struck under the east Africa security bloc — Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) — in August 2015 crumpled when Machar fled to Democratic Republic of Congo.