South Sudan UNHCR Operational Update 07/2017, 01 -15 April 2017
Arrivals from South Kordofan Continue: From 1 to 15 April, UNHCR registered 588 new arrivals to South Sudan through Yida settlement. Cumulatively, 4,370 new arrivals have been registered since the beginning of the year 2017.
Relocation of Yida refugees and new arrivals continues: During the reporting period, UNHCR relocated 642 refugees including 75 refugees previously settled in Yida and 567 new arrivals to Ajuong Thok and Pamir. Cumulatively, Pamir is now home to 10,211 refugees since opening in September 2016. To promote relocation from Yida settlement to Pamir and Ajuong Thok camp, UNHCR organized a Go and See visit for refugee leaders in Yida to view Pamir and Ajuong Thok refugee camps and understand services available in the camps. 29 leaders were taken through the camps and observed main facilities including the primary and secondary schools, water points, health clinics and the market.
Displaced Maban Refugees Move to Extension Site: In Doro refugee camp, UNHCR and its partners in coordination with the Commission for Refugee Affairs (CRA) relocated 2,049 refugees (446 households) during the reporting period. Cumulatively 3,581 refugees (747 households) were successfully relocated which represents 45% of targeted 8,000 refugees who were affected by December 2016 conflict between refugees and host communities to news extension site. Each household is provided a standard plot of 15 x 20 meters size, which is adequate for both backyard gardening, and shelter and sanitation needs of households. Meantime a semi-permanent water storage facility with capacity of 70,000 liters has successfully been installed in Doro extension site, this will improve the water supply at the site.
Distribution of school materials to refugee pupils: In Maban, UNHCR’s partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has produced a total of 1,180 desks. 165 desks were already delivered to primary schools in Yusuf Batil camp. In Makpandu, UNHCR partner World Vision International (WVI) distributed 2,331 exercise books, 1,668 pens and pencils to 1,136 pupils in primary school, secondary school and also supported Fr. Mario’s nursery in Makpandu settlement. Distribution of school materials has shown a positive impact for improvement of the education environment for better quality education.
Training for Government in Yei: UNHCR conducted training to 27 government officials from Yei State, Yei County, police, immigration, judiciary, national security and the prison service from 6 th to 7 th April 2017. The training focused on human rights, IDP protection, refugee law, child protection and SGBV. The issues highlighted during the training includes high incidence of SGBV in the community in and outside Yei, lack of access outside Yei, lack of food, the laws of South Sudan not properly implemented and lack of knowledge on the Mandate of UNHCR, CRA, RRC and humanitarian agencies conducting IDP response.
Conflict in Pajok, Eastern Equatoria Causes Flight: Fighting which began on Monday 3 April in Pajok, a border town of up to 50,000 people, caused mass displacement from the town to Uganda and surroundings, with reports of grave violations against civilians in the area, including killings, looting and burning of property and detention. Over 6,000 people have fled to Uganda and while numbers of those crossing to Uganda have slowed to date, the area has as of 11 April not been accessible by UNMISS patrol despite repeated attempts. The situation remains unpredictable, with potential further conflict in the area a possibility.
Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) in South Sudan Condemns Attacks on Civilians and Aid Workers: On Saturday 8 April, Eugene Owusu, Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General (DSRSG) released a statement in response to targeting of civilians in Upper Nile and Eastern Equatoria, as well as harassment of humanitarian workers. The statement highlighted that two serious attacks were carried out against aid workers in Upper Nile since 31 March. In Abruoc, humanitarians were harassed and beaten by members of armed opposition forces, while in Melut, state security officials detained and beat two aid workers before releasing them. “I demand that the leadership on both sides investigates these incidents with a view to holding the specific perpetrators to account, as well as ending the targeting of humanitarians in the future” said Owusu. “Humanitarians are in this country to save lives. It is beyond reckoning that they continue to be killed, harassed and abused despite our repeated calls for action.”
Fighting in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal, Causes Displacement: Fighting has increased around Wau town, after the reported ambush of Government soldiers on the evening of Sunday 9 April in Baggari, South West of Wau, resulting in the deaths of several soldiers. Reports of shooting in several parts of Wau town were recorded on Monday 10 April, with unconfirmed reports of multiple civilian deaths and displacement. The area of Wau town itself and surrounding areas remain tense, with overt military presence. On Tuesday 11 April the SPLA Spokesperson Col Santo Domic noted in a statement to the media “The SPLA command in Wau decided to expand its defensive position to flash (sic) out pockets of rebels… we have captured Baggari, Busia and Biringi”, towns surrounding Wau. This follows a week of unrest, with reported mass arrests in Wau Town market on 3 April, targeting youth and former Government workers.
Humanitarian Coordinator Condemns Aid Worker Deaths: In a statement released on Saturday 15 April, Eugene Owusu, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative to the Secretary General expressed outrage at the deaths of three people working with WFP to deliver food aid. The three porters were killed on 10 April in fighting which took place in Wau, where according to WFP they were attacked with machetes and shot trying to make their way to safety in the warehouse. The fighting also displaced over 8,000 people within the town, with numbers rising. “There are no words left to explain the level of frustration and outrage I feel regarding the continued attacks against humanitarians in South Sudan who are simply trying to help the civilians who are suffering as a result of this conflict,” said Mr. Owusu. The deaths bring the total number of aid workers killed in South Sudan to 82 since the fighting began in 2013, with 14 this year alone.