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KHARTOUM - 23 Nov 2013

UN: 2000 Blue Nile refugees flee to South Sudan

At least 2,000 people fled their homes in Blue Nile to South Sudan last week, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports. The refugees walked for eight days from Baldogo village, 34km south of Bau town, Bau locality, to the Albonj area.

OCHA suggests people fled their homes out of fear over the possibility of attacks by the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in the area. This information, however, has not been verified independently as there are no humanitarian organisations operating in the area, the reports adds.

According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), some 231,000 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile have sought shelter in camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia since June 2011. This includes over 198,000 refugees in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan and a further 33,000 refugees (mainly from Blue Nile) in camps in the Assosa region of Ethiopia.

On 15 November, the semi-official Sudanese Media Centre (SMC) news website reported that the office of Sudan’s Commissioner for Refugees is arranging a visit to camps in Ethiopia hosting Sudanese refugees. The commissioner told SMC that an agreement will be signed between the Sudan and Ethiopian Commissioners for Refugees for the repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia.

Map: Blue Nile