UN: More than 200,000 Sudanese Have Fled Country

Posted June 20th, 2012 at 4:50 pm (UTC-5)
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The United Nations says more than 200,000 Sudanese have fled violence in the country's southern border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

Spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York Wednesday the refugees fled to camps in Ethiopia and South Sudan and that more than half of them are in need of assistance.

In South Sudan, some 35,000 people have poured in from Sudan's war-torn areas in recent weeks to escape fighting between rebels and government forces.

Increasingly malnourished, exhausted and sick, they are arriving to overcrowded camps that aid agencies say could run out of water within a week, while the upcoming rain season could cut off access to the needy.

The lack of water and food is compounding problems of dehydration and worsening acute child malnutrition, while the aid group “Doctors Without Borders” says the lack of shelter and mosquito nets are bringing in the first cases of malaria and respiratory diseases.

South Sudan split from Sudan last July, but the countries are locked in disputes over border demarcation, oil revenue, and the status of nationals in each other's territory.