FROM: KAMPALA’S DAILY MONITOR & AGENCIES, FEB/09/2017, SSN;
More than 52,000 South Sudanese fled to Uganda in January alone as continued fighting risks creating a situation of mass atrocities, the UN’s special adviser on genocide prevention said Tuesday.
The displaced, primarily from towns south of the capital Juba in Central Equatoria state, have given accounts of the killing of civilians, homes destroyed and sexual violence, said Adama Dieng.
“President Salva Kiir has made a commitment to end the violence and bring about peace, yet we still see ongoing clashes, and the risk that mass atrocities will be committed remains ever-present,” said the special adviser in a statement.
Dieng said he was particularly alarmed at the situation in Kajo-Keji where fleeing civilians have said they fear mass violence.
After several delays, a team from the UN peacekeeping mission arrived in Kajo-Keji on Sunday to report on the situation.
After gaining independence from Sudan in 2011, South Sudan descended into war in December 2013, leaving tens of thousands dead and more than three million people displaced.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the rate of new arrivals into Uganda has increased, with a total of 24,277 South Sudanese refugees being received in Uganda between January 25 and January 31.
The influx peaked for the week on January 28, when more than 4,500 refugees were received. The average daily rate of new arrivals for the week was 3,468.
And as Uganda hit the one million refugee mark, UN Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme, Rosa Malango, applauded communities for offering land to refugees to settle.
She said: “It is now critical to look at the quality of life of refugees and standards of living in the communities.”
There is growing alarm over the humanitarian crisis in the country where more than six million people — half of South Sudan’s population — are in need of urgent aid. Humanitarian organizations expect this number to rise by 20 to 30 percent in 2017.