Photos: South Sudanese refugees return to their

Adeyemi Adeyemi
Adeyemi Adeyemi

Global Courant 2023-05-08 14:55:36

The last place Lina Mijok wanted to go when she fled the fighting in Sudan was back to her own country, South Sudan, which she had left when the civil war broke out in 2013.

But when the Sudanese army engaged paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the streets around her home last month, South Sudan was the only place she and her two children could go.

“I would not have come back to South Sudan. I would have gone anywhere, but I had no choice,” said the 26-year-old.

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She had managed to make a new life for herself as a maid in Omdurman, the city across the River Nile from the capital, Khartoum.

Then shots started ringing and her family had to pack up and leave that behind – all except Mijok’s husband.

He had to stay behind because they didn’t have enough money to pay for his seat on the trucks and buses that took Mijok, their son and daughter to the border, two nerve-racking days on bushroads.

They now camp among the thousands in South Sudan’s Renk County on a run-down college campus, the buildings pockmarked by bullets from fighting ten years ago.

The refugees have made simple shelters from sticks and scraps of cloth. The United Nations Refugee Agency and other aid agencies are distributing food, water, blankets and mats.

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The fighting has turned the humanitarian situation upside down.

Until last month, more than 800,000 South Sudanese refugees lived in Sudan. Since the outbreak of fighting in Khartoum, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has recorded more than 30,000 people entering South Sudan, more than 90 percent of whom are South Sudanese, but the agency noted that it actual number is probably much higher.

Aid groups fear the influx will exacerbate an already serious humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, where more than 2 million people are displaced and three-quarters of its 11 million people are in need of assistance.

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Photos: South Sudanese refugees return to their

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