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Statement of Mr. Ali Al-Za'tari, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and Mr. Mohammed Adar, UNHCR Representative in Sudan on South Sudan Refugees in Sudan

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KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 3, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The United Nations welcomes the reaffirmation made by the Government of Sudan at the Oslo Humanitarian Pledging Conference for South Sudan on 20 May to maintain its borders open to South Sudanese fleeing violence and insecurity in their country. We commend and appreciate that Sudan has granted unrestricted access to its territory to more than 85,000 South Sudanese since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan on 15 December 2013.

The United Nations also welcomes the Sudanese authorities' decision to take the necessary actions to ensure the relocation of over 30,000 South Sudanese refugees from their location in “Kilo 10” in the White Nile State where they are at risk of floods once heavy rains start in the coming weeks. The current location of this large group of people has grave humanitarian consequences, in particular on health and sanitation conditions due to possible water borne diseases. The movement of these South Sudanese refugees to a better location will enable the provision of assistance and avert a potential humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations also urges the Government of Sudan to allow the free and rapid movement of international humanitarian workers to access these refugees to ensure the delivery of assistance in the areas where they reside in White Nile and Blue Nile States. UN agencies and humanitarian partners face serious bureaucratic challenges that constrain their ability to ensure the legitimate humanitarian needs of affected people are met. South Sudanese refugees are already extremely vulnerable and should not be exposed to more vulnerability.

The United Nations reiterates its readiness to support the Government of Sudan's efforts to respond to the needs of South Sudanese refugees wherever they reside in Sudan.