UN: Ethiopia faces new wave of South Sudanese refugees

thumbs_b_c_6a33cade004d59ff054a831a3209a4c2Continuing conflict in South Sudan threatens to add more refugees to September’s 30,000 total, says UNHCR in Ethopia

By Seleshi Tessema

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) operation in Ethiopia said on Thursday it is bracing itself for a new influx of South Sudanese after some 30,000 arrived earlier this month.

Kisut Gebreegziabher of the UNHCR’s Ethiopia office told Anadolu Agency the number of new arrivals in September had surpassed the agency’s expectations.

“Following the peace deal between the warring factions of South Sudan, we were hoping for a marked decrease in the flow of refugees,” he said.

According to him, fears of war, food shortages and the overall situation in the country have forced more South Sudanese to cross into Ethiopia in record numbers since Sept. 3.

“The resources at our disposal are quite limited as we anticipate a rise in the flow to a daily average of 1,000 people,” Kisut said.

Child refugees make up well over half of the new arrivals.

According to the UNHCR, Ethiopia hosts the world’s fifth-largest refugee population of some 74,000 people.

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