By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 18, 2016 (ADDIS ABABA) –The South Sudanese Nuer community residing in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, successfully raised funds to support conflict affected people’s return home.
- South Sudanese refugee Nyarout Chuol sits with children displaced by the conflict at the UNHCR’s Kule refugee camp in Ethiopia’s Gambella region (Photo: William Davison)
Gajiok Community Association chair person, Row Duol Tuong, on Sunday told Sudan Tribune that the community made an emergency fundraising for the victims of last month’s air bombardment which allegedly carried by the government forces in the town of Nasir which had resulted in deaths scores and displaced thousands.
Tuong said that the fund raising was in response to the immediate support request by the local people in the town of Nasir.
An estimated one thousand exiled Nuers turnout at the fund raising occasion.
“As a community, we are very much appreciative to the entire Nuer community who joined us together in yesterday’s occasion in order to respond to the immediate request from our brothers and sisters in the ground, affected by their very government which is designed to kills them,” he said.
A second round of fund raising will also be held two weeks later.
“Our unity matters and it is only when we come together as one collective identity we can achieve greater things for our people,” he added.
The United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) report issued on Friday said a surge of people have entered western Ethiopia’s Gambella region in the past week.
According to the new report, more than 11,000, many of them from the Nuer tribe, have crossed into Ethiopia’s Gambella region during the past week bringing the number of South Sudanese refugees in the horn of Africa’s country to more than 292,000.
“The majority were women and children, including some 500 children travelling alone” the report said.
Most had fled from Nasser, Maban, Mathiang and Maiwut in Upper Nile and cited insecurity and fears of renewed conflict after seeing significant troop movements.
New arrivals from Jonglei talked of food shortages as one reason for fleeing.
UN refugee agency further disclosed that the number of South Sudanese refugees sheltering in neighboring countries has this week passed the 1 million mark.
The new recorded figure includes more than 185,000 people who have fled since fresh violence erupted in the country on July 8 when rival SPLM factions engage in fighting at the presidential palace in the capital Juba.