South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after decades of war. Now, a month of conflict has now displaced about 413,000 people in South Sudan after a major surge in the number of people fleeing violence.
The violence has also forced about 78,000 to flee to neighboring countries, the United Nations said, on top of the hundreds of thousands displaced within South Sudan’s borders. Many are women and children. More than 42,000 people are now in Uganda’s West Nile region, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency, the UNHCR, while about 18,600 have sought refuge in Ethiopia. Nearly 6,800 people have fled to Kenya.And an estimated 10,000 have fled into Sudan’s volatile West Kordofan and South Kordofan states.
Hundreds of people have been wounded and thousands displaced, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said, also known as Doctors Without Borders. MSF said the medical needs of the displaced are placing existing health facilities under increasing pressure, with some clinics and hospitals already overwhelmed. The group added it was reinforcing emergency teams to deal with the rising health and humanitarian needs.
“While we continue to treat more wounded patients in our hospitals every day, we are also concerned about the living conditions of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people across the country, most of whom fled their homes with nothing and have little food, water, or access to health care,” Raphael Gorgeu, MSF head of mission in South Sudan, said in a statement. “The fighting in Malakal over the past few days has limited our ability to reach displaced people where they are gathering, preventing people from receiving the medical and humanitarian assistance they desperately need.”