South Sudan crisis enters fifth year “a children’s refugee crisis”

Marking four years since the outbreak of South Sudan’s civil war, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi appealed for urgent action by all sides to settle the conflict: “The world cannot continue to stand by as the people of South Sudan are terrorized by a senseless war.”

Noting that 63 per cent of all South Sudanese refugees are under 18, Grandi labelled the situation “a children’s refugee crisis” and stressed that: “many children are arriving unaccompanied, separated and deeply traumatized.”

The South Sudan conflict has created the largest refugee crisis on the African continent. The six countries neighboring South Sudan host two million refugees, while nearly seven million citizens inside the country are in need of essential humanitarian assistance. UNHCR estimates the refugee population could exceed three million by December 2018.

Refugees are hosted by South Sudan’s immediate neighbors — Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic, which are struggling with instability and large-scale displacement of their own nationals. All six have continued to keep an open door, as growing numbers of refugees flood in against the backdrop of dwindling financial resources.

The High Commissioner called on the parties to the conflict to find a political solution. Brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a peace initiative in South Sudan is intended to revive a stalled 2015 peace agreement for the country.

[UN High Commissioner for Refugees]

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