By William Madouk Garang
The figure of South Sudanese refugees stays on the top in the African Continent with a rough statistic stands at above two million people, the Commissioner for Refugees Affairs, Bol John Akot said yesterday.
According to the Commission for Refugees Affairs (CRA), the large numbers of those refugees are currently hosted in Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Commissioner for Refugees Affairs General Akot made the remark while addressing a football match between UN Refugees Agency (UNHCR) team and the Refugees team ahead of the upcoming World Refugees Day.
“The coming 20th of June, is the World Refugees Day – it’s the day which shone a live on the rights, needs and dreams of the refugees,” Akot said.
“On this special occasion, I want to echo that South Sudan refugees crisis remain the largest refugees crisis in Africa which is close to two (2) million South Sudanese refugees generously hosted by DRC, Ethiopia Kenya Sudan and Uganda,” he added.
He further disclosed that about 565 refugees have voluntarily returned in the country while above 343 thousand refugees and asylum seekers from neighboring country are now along the Border States.
“More than 2 million IDPs [and] majority of refugees in South Sudan reside in Upper Nile, Ruweng administrative area; women and children represent 80 percent of the total refugees’ population,” he said.
Mr. Akot said in spite of multiples defies the country is facing, South Sudan has created a protective environment for refugees through adaption of national Refugees Act, 20212 and regulation on refugees.
According to UNHCR, South Sudan host about 330 thousands refugees and asylum seekers mainly from Sudan and has 2 million internally displaced person due to or impact of climate change.
Refugees agency further added that since signing of Revitalized peace agreement over 500 thousand have returned back home while over 2.3 million South Sudanese the largest in Africa after Syria and Afghanistan,
63 percent of South Sudanese refugees are under age of 18 and majority of those fleeing in the country are women and children escaping violent attack, sexual assault among other cases.