Over 20,000 South Sudan asylum seekers in Kenya: UN

Nairobi, Mar 1: More than 20,000 South Sudanese asylum seekers have arrived in Kenya as fresh clashes between the pro-government forces and rebels heighten in the world’s youngest nation, the UN refugee agency said Friday.

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1, 690 new arrivals were received and transported from Nadapal border into Kakuma refugee camp in the last seven days.

“This brings the total number of South Sudanese asylum seekers received to 20,156. The operation has now surpassed the 20,000 mark under scenario 1,” Xinhua quoted the UNHCR as stating in a report released in Nairobi.

The report comes as talks between representatives of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and former deputy president Riek Machar are deadlocked over fresh tensions sparked by renewed heavy clashes in four States.

The UN refugee agency said they are closely monitoring the daily arrivals and daily interlinked operations in Nadapal and Kakuma refugee camp whose population is 147,300.

Dozens of South Sudanese refugees are fleeing the fighting in their home country every day, crossing into Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, where aid workers are providing medical and humanitarian aid.