2 mil­lion South Su­danese chil­dren flee war, famine

New Straits Times - - World -

KI­GALI: War and famine have forced more than two mil­lion chil­dren in South Su­dan to flee their homes, cre­at­ing the most wor­ry­ing refugee cri­sis in the world, the United Na­tions said on Mon­day.

The civil war in the oil-pro­duc­ing coun­try be­gan two years af­ter it won in­de­pen­dence from neigh­bour­ing Su­dan, when Pres­i­dent Salva Kiir fired his deputy in 2013.

The fight­ing that fol­lowed split the coun­try along eth­nic lines, spurred hy­per­in­fla­tion and plunged parts of the na­tion into famine, cre­at­ing Africa’s big­gest refugee cri­sis since the Rwan­dan geno­cide in 1994.

“No refugee cri­sis to­day worries me more than South Su­dan,” Valentin Tap­soba, the Africa chief for United Na­tions High Com­mis­sion For Refugees (UNHCR), said in a state­ment.

In a coun­try of 12 mil­lion peo­ple, nearly three in ev­ery four chil­dren do not go to school, UNHCR and the UN chil­dren’s agency, United Na­tions In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Emer­gency Fund, said.

More than one mil­lion chil­dren have fled out­side South Su­dan while an­other one mil­lion are in­ter­nally dis­placed.

The agen­cies said more than a thou­sand chil­dren have been killed in the fight­ing. The true fig­ure may be much higher since

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