S Sudanese refugees could surpass 1m this year

Juba—The number of South Sudanese refugees in East Africa could pass 1 million this year, the United Nations refugee agency said Saturday, calling on armed groups to allow safe passage for people fleeing the latest fighting.
There is concern about fresh outflows of refugees after military clashes in recent days in the capital, Juba, said Ann Encontre, a UN refugee coordinator in South Sudan. She appealed for $701 million in relief aid.
“They are supposed to be the generation of tomorrow, the generation that will lead and rebuild their country, but right now, they are suffering enormously,” she said. Even before the violence of the past week, hundreds of thousands of refugees had been sheltering in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and elsewhere since civil war began in December 2013.
But there are new reports that South Sudan authorities are blocking some citizens, including those with US or Canadian dual nationality, from leaving the country. “We condemn all actions by the government to prevent civilians from boarding flights out of Juba or otherwise departing South Sudan,” State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters in Washington.—Agencies

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