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150 Congolese refugees stranded without food after W Equatoria clashes

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150 Congolese refugees stranded without food after W Equatoria clashes

Radio Tamazuj, 12 Jan 2016

URL: https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/150-congolese-refugees-stranded-without-food-after-w-equatoria-clashes
150 Congolese refugees are stranded in the bush around Ezo in South Sudan's Equatoria state with little to eat amid continuing clashes, the UN's refugee agency said.

UNHCR spokesperson Rocco Nuri told Radio Tamazuj that recent fighting in Western Equatoria has forced from their homes a total of 3,200 refugees who had been living there,

The refugees are mostly from Democratic Republic of Congo and sought asylum in South Sudan starting from 2008 after fleeing attacks by the Lord's Resistance Army in their home country, Nuri said.

While about 2000 returned to DRC's Dungu Province, those who are still stuck in South Sudan told UNHCR staff that they are in a dire situation, with limited food and little or no access to health care, the spokesperson said.

"As clashes continue nearby Ezo, they fear for their lives and want to move to safer areas," Nuri said. "As we have been unable to access the refugees for over a month due to ongoing conflict and violence, we are very concerned about their general welfare and we hope that peace will return soon to the area."

Nuri said UNHCR is arranging to rescue the refugees and transfer them to Makpandu settlement, some 45 km northeast of state capital Yambio on the other side of the state.

He said UNMISS will provide peacekeeping soldiers to protect the refugees while being moved from Ezo to Makpandu.