President Salva Kiir
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned that the influx of refugees from South Sudan to neighbouring countries like Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia will possibly affect these countries’ resources.
Political tensions broke out in South Sudan following the sacking of Deputy President Riek Machar by President Salva Kiir in July last year and eventually the world’s youngest nation de4scended into war a few weeks ago.
OVER 1,000 DEAD, MANY THOUSANDS FLEEINGM
Since then over a thousand people are reported to have been killed and scores injured as well, a situation that has seen many thousands’ more people escape the war torn nation to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. Subsequently, this has led to a ‘refugee’ situation in Kenya especially since most of the camps were over crowded even before the South Sudan crisis.
For instance, it’s reported that about 20,000 people have fled to the Kakuma Refugee Camp, the second largest such camp in Kenya bringing the camp populations to about 130,000.
According to WFP East and Central Africa Regional Director, Valerie Guarnieri, refugee assistance programmes in the region were already facing severe funding shortfalls before the emerging South Sudan crisis and the new incursion of refugees will strain their resources even further.
The fighting that broke out between factions within the army and which later spilled to inter-ethnic killings, was started by former vice president Machar and his supporters in a bid to seize power, according to Kiir.
The current political crisis taking place in the world’s youngest nation appears to be a repeat of history as the two different ethnic groups where Kiir and Machar originate have also clashed in the past (1991) during the leadership of the late Dr John Garang.
200 SOUTH SUDANESE DROWN AS FERRY SINKS IN RIVER NILE
In the most recent tragedy, more than 200 people were reported to have drowned in the river Nile following a ferry accident as they tried to escape the civil war. The civilians, who were mostly children and women, are said to have been fleeing fighting in the town of Malakal on Sunday, according to Philip Aguer, an army spokesman.