60,000 Sudanese refugees face expulsion from South SudanListen /
Nearly one million South Sudanese have now been displaced by the recent violence in the country according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
The agency says over 708,000 South Sudanese are internally displaced while another 200,000 have fled into Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Sudan.
UNHCR says the condition of those arriving in neighbouring countries is dire with many especially children suffering from malnutrition.
In the meantime UNHCR says it is worried over the safety of nearly 60,000 Sudanese refugees, who have been threatened with expulsion from their camp in South Sudan's northern Upper Nile State.
Local residents are reported to have given the refugees two months within which to vacate the refugee camps.
UNHCR says food shortages and competition for natural resources including grazing land and firewood is causing tension between the local residents and the refugees.
Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.
"Instability and conflict in the region have disrupted the planting and harvesting seasons. We are also seeing a lot of insecurity along transportation routes, which has hampered the delivery of food and other non-food items and as a result we are seeing these tensions. With insecurity, it means that key non-food items including fuel and essential medicines are quickly running out. To respond to food needs, the government of South Sudan and Ethiopia have agreed to allow humanitarian supplies through Gambela in Ethiopia and which means that WFP could bring more commodities for the internally displaced and the refugees in Maban county which would help take care of the tensions between refugees and the locals."
South Sudan's Upper Nile state is host to over 125,000 Sudanese refugees the majority of whom are children, pregnant and lactating mothers, elderly and disabled people.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.