South Sudan + 6 more

South Sudan Situation: UNHCR Regional Update (December 2019)

Situation Report
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2,216,652* South Sudanese refugees in the region as of 31 December 2019 (preand post-Dec 2013 caseload).

74,947* South Sudanese refugee arrivals in 2019, with 5,015 new refugee arrivals in December 2019.

298,313 Refugees in South Sudan with 92 per cent from Sudan, 6 per cent from the DRC, 1 percent from Ethiopia and 1 per cent from CAR.

235,802 Number of South Sudanese refugees who have returned in a self-organized manner (Nov 2017-Dec 2019)

63% of the South Sudanese refugee population are children (under the age of 18 years old)

1.47 million Number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan with 13% inside six UNMISS Protection of Civilians site.

Highlights and Operational Context

  • On 17 December, David Shearer, head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), briefed the Security Council on developments towards the new administration, amid ongoing humanitarian concerns worsened by recent flooding. President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar were expected to form a unified transitional Government by mid-November, in line with a revitalized peace agreement signed last September, but that deadline was extended by a further 100 days. Mr Shearer added that “the choice to delay a transitional government twice has dampened initial hopes, eroded some trust and confidence, and caused people to suspect that the political will between the parties is waning”. He also underlined the international community’s support for the nation, including by the African Union, regional body IGAD, and the UN Security Council.

  • UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, on 13 December, called on all parties to boost efforts to form an inclusive national unity government in South Sudan in order to achieve permanent peace. Despite the signing of the peace agreement last year, the situation remains critical, six years after the outbreak of violence, with millions of South Sudanese displaced and in need of safety and humanitarian assistance. “South Sudanese people long for lasting peace,” said High Commissioner Grandi. “Only a political solution can end the crisis and bring relief to those who have been displaced over and over again.” He added that it was also important to sustain the momentum towards the implementation of the peace agreement in order to ensure the safety of civilians and guarantee solutions for those affected.

  • On 12 December, the World Food Programme (WFP) warned against potential famine in South Sudan as hunger deepens due to drought, floods and an uncertain political future, with fears more than 5.5 million people could be going hungry in early 2020. The floods have affected nearly one million people and destroyed 73,000 metric tons of potential harvests.