Over 18,000 South Sudanese flee into Kenya over clashes: UNHCR
20 February 2014, 20:03
Nairobi - More than 18,000 South Sudanese asylum seekers have arrived in Kenya as fresh clashes between the pro-government forces and rebels intensified in the world's youngest nation, the UN said on Thursday.
According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a total of 128 new arrivals were received from Nadapal border on Tuesday, bringing the total number of South Sudanese asylum seekers to 18,020.
"Out of the 18,020 persons received, 8,490 had been registered by Kenya's Department of Refugee Affairs (DRA) and 7,572 captured in the UNHCR database as at Feb. 17," UNHCR said in its latest report.
The report comes as talks between representatives of South Sudan's President Salva Kiir and former deputy president Riek Machar are deadlocked over fresh tensions sparked by renewed heavy clashes in four states.
The UN refugee agency said they are closely monitoring daily arrivals and daily interlinked operations in Nadapal and Kakuma refugee camp whose population is 147,300.
The UNHCR said it has teamed up with DRA to initiative dialogue with the host communities in Nakururum area on the requested new land for establishment of another refugee camp which can accommodate more refugees.
According to the UN, about 80 percent of the total population of South Sudanese refugees at Kakuma camp is youths, 13 percent comprising women and the elderly, with 7 percent being old men.