Two United Nations agencies on Thursday expressed concern over the risks faced in relocating refugees and returnees away from South Sudan’s border entry points which have resulted in the killing of two Sudanese refugees.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the two refugees were killed in an attack against a convoy organized by the UN refugee agency transporting Sudanese refugees from Abyei to the Wedweil refugee settlement.
Marie-Helene Verney, the UNHCR country representative, said a vehicle carrying the two refugees was surrounded by armed youth who forced all onboard to alight and abducted two men, both from Sudan’s Blue Nile State who local authorities reported were later found dead.
“This tragic and senseless incident puts into question our entire strategy to relocate refugees arriving in South Sudan through Abyei to a safe location in Wedweil, where we opened a new settlement to receive refugees fleeing the Sudan crisis,” Verney said in a joint statement issued in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
More than 438,000 people have arrived in South Sudan to escape the conflict in Sudan since April, of which 365,000 South Sudanese and 71,000 refugees, the UN said.