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UNHCR saddened over killing of refugees

Author : | Published: Sunday, November 13, 2016

The United Nations Refugee Agency says two Sudanese refugees have been killed and five others wounded in Yei River State.

Four women and twenty-eight children are still in captivity in an unknown location.

UNHCR says it is saddened by the abduction and the killing of the Nuba refugees from Sudan’s Southern Kordofan region.

They were killed near the refugee hosting area of Lasu Payam in Yei.

Richard Ruati is Assistant External Relations Officer for UNHCR’s South Sudan. He spoke to Eye Radio from Yei, and explained how the refugees were killed.

“Two refugees have been killed and five others wounded, they are all men, two men killed and five wounded and we have airlifted those wounded and they are now in Juba. So we are so much appalled by this brutal killing,” he said.

“UNHCR is so saddened and shocked about the abduction and subsequently the killing of two refugees and the wounded who are five, that is why we have decided to express our sadness to the world about the Nuba refugees who were formerly in the Lasu camp, which is already deserted and occupied by the armed groups who are operating in the area,” he added.

He said those wounded have been airlifted to Juba for better medical treatment.

Mr. Ruati said the identity of the abductors is not known, but said the abductees confirmed that those who abducted them were speaking South Sudanese languages.

“We don’t know their identity or those to whom they are affiliated at this point because nobody has claimed responsibility for the abduction yet. We only learned that they are armed groups because the five survivors who were released by their captors and they escaped to Yei town they are the ones who confirmed the abduction,” he said.

Mr Ruati added: “So we do not know which group is the one holding the remaining abductees [28 of them] in the villages or in the bush, or who is the one who killed … Those who have been freed said the abductors are from South Sudan because they speak South Sudanese languages, but we don’t know which specific group actually.”

Mr. Ruati said UNHCR is urging the government of South Sudan and armed groups in the refugee hosting areas to respect human rights and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of refugees.

UNHCR also demands the creation of a secure corridor for movement of displaced refugees and free movement of humanitarian actors to reach refugees with much-needed relief aid.

This is not the first attack against refugees in Lasu area in Yei River State. In September this year, armed men fired guns in the air and broke into refugee homes seizing food items, personal belongings, and livestock, and destroying the medical clinic.

That phenomenon forced thousands of refugees to flee alongside the host community and seek safety in the surrounding dense forest areas.

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