As region continues to suffer effects of civil war
By Lukman Akintola
The continuing crisis in South Sudan is exarcebating the state of crisis and siege in East Africa, The Difference checks have revealed.
This is coming even as the United Nation peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have found about 100 injured South Sudanese fighters near its borders. Reports say that these fighters are loyalists of Mr. Riek Machar, the deposed Vice President of South Sudan.
According to the UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, the fighters were found around Garamba National Park area in extremely bad shape. He noted that they had suffered walking through bad terrain and having no food.
South Sudan has been experiencing incessant crises since 2013 that have left millions of people dead. These crises made 900,000 people flee their homes while some had to migrate to neighboring countries. According to the UN refugee agency, 60,000 people have fled South Sudan in the four weeks that the rival army factions have been fighting. Of the 60,000, the agency says 52,000 fled to Uganda, 7,000 fled to Sudan, while 1,000 fled to Kenya.
Also, the Congolese police confirmed that 500 South Sudan fighters were evacuated from Goma area of DR Congo in mid-August. All these figures show the growing number of refugees that are migrating from South Sudan due to the civil war. This consequently affects other countries in the East African region.
The UN reports that, since December 2013, about 1.61 million people have been internally displaced in South Sudan and over 720,000 are refugees in neighboring countries.
Unfortunately, the number of refugees in these neighboring countries keeps increasing. These countries become responsible for the refugees; they have to cater to them and provide humanitarian support; that affects the countries’ budgets. Most of the East African states are poor which makes humanitarian intervention such a huge burden on them.
Furthermore, the South Sudan crisis raises fear in the region. Psychologically, the states within the region are afraid that the conflict might spread to their territory. Thus, they beef up security measures by all means.
The presence of the UN peacekeeping forces indicates the level of unrest caused by the South Sudan crisis. This made the world considered the region as a conflict-driven region, where political instability and incessant crises are the order of the day.