The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that women and children constitute over 90% of persons fleeing South Sudan in the wake of clashes between political factions.
According to the UNHCR, since fighting erupted on July 7 between forces loyal to President Kiir and First Vice President Machar, 26,468 people have crossed into Uganda’s northern region, including 24,321 in the previous six days alone.
The UN agency further reports that on Thursday July 21, an estimated 8,337 refugees crossed into Uganda from South Sudan, a new record high since the influx began and in 2016. Other entry records indicated that an estimated 6,500 crossed in Elegu, 659 in Moyo, 156 in Lamwo and 642 in Oraba while 380 arrived in Kiryandongo Reception Centre.
With the current influx, pressure is being mounted on existing facilities at collection points, transit and reception centres. The UNHCR further reported that the Elegu collection point was full to the extent that it was not possible to conduct a head count.
The Elugu collection point is currently holding 7 times its original capacity, because 7,000 people had to make do with a facility built for 1,000. Similarly, Kuluba collection point is hosting over three times its capacity, 1,099 refugees are in the facility built for 300 people.
Since fighting broke out in Africa’s youngest nation, countries have organized evacuation of their nationals who were in South Sudan. Media reports indicate that Germany, the United States, India, Uganda and Kenya had all taken their citizens out of the country.
Meanwhile the Uganda People’s Defense Forces convoy continues its evacuation of Ugandan nationals from South Sudan. On previous occasions, a large number of refugees have taken the opportunity to flee the country by accompanying the convoy.