UN Humanitarian Coordinator meets refugees in Upper Nile State

6 Dec 2012

UN Humanitarian Coordinator meets refugees in Upper Nile State

5 December 2012 - As the 110,000 refugees in Upper Nile State pressured local residents, the relationship between them and host communities must be carefully managed, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan said today in Maban County.

Speaking to refugees and host community leaders in the state, Toby Lanzer said the United Nations would continue to work closely with host communities to assist and maintain refugee camps.

Mr. Lanzer, who also serves as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General paid a two-day visit to Maban County to acquaint himself with overall conditions of refugees who had fled from Blue Nile State in Sudan.

"One of our priorities is to work very closely with the host communities to maintain the civilian nature of the refugee camps," he said.

South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission Chairman Peter Lam Both and UNMISS Upper Nile State Coordinator Deborah Schein accompanied Mr. Lanzer to the refugee camps.

Mr. Both called on the refugee leaders' committee to bar anyone with a gun from the camp.

"...When you come here, you should come as a refugee," he said. "You should not come with guns.... This is a humanitarian camp."

A report from the UN refugee agency at the end of November revealed that there are currently 112,379 refugees in Upper Nile, of which 112,020 are from Sudan. The report said humanitarian agencies had registered 86,174 arrivals in 2012.

During a preview presentation of a Consolidated Appeal for humanitarian assistance for South Sudan in Juba on 28 November, National Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Joseph Lual Achuil said the number of refugees in South Sudan was expected to rise to about 350,000 in the coming year.