Marking four years since the outbreak of South Sudan’s civil war, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi today appealed for urgent action by all sides to settle the conflict and put an end to the country’s deepening humanitarian crisis and Africa’s largest refugee crisis.
“The world cannot continue to stand by as the people of South Sudan are terrorized by a senseless war,” the head of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, said. Grandi declared that the devastating effects of the fighting were a direct consequence of tragic failures in political leadership.
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 traumatised.”
Refugee women arriving in neighbouring countries have also reported repeated rape, the killing of their husbands, and abduction of their children.
The six countries neighbouring South Sudan host two million refugees, while nearly seven million citizens inside the country are in need of essential humanitarian assistance. Two million of these are internally displaced.