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Edmonton Journal Homepage NEWSOPINIONSPORTSBUSINESSARTSLIFECAREERSOBITSCLASSIFIEDSDRIVING SIGN INSUBSCRIBE Matthew Fisher: Confronting compassion fatigue in South Sudan as millions flee the country

Edmonton Journal Homepage NEWSOPINIONSPORTSBUSINESSARTSLIFECAREERSOBITSCLASSIFIEDSDRIVING SIGN INSUBSCRIBE Matthew Fisher: Confronting compassion fatigue in South Sudan as millions flee the country

PURE, South Sudan – Kalashnikov rifles in hand, three soldiers from the Liberation Army of Southern Sudan have languished in the shade of a tree in this sleepy little village near the border with Uganda, relieved to be away from one of the conflicts More bloody and lesser known continent where there are too many of them.

Gradually, as the soldiers rested a slow drip of refugee refugees in Uganda, they descended on a dusty dirt road and around a frayed rope attached to a tree that served as an unofficial border.

“We are afraid, especially at night,” said Marguerite Kuyunge shortly after crossing Uganda after a dangerous one-week trip with her seven-year-old son and four-year-old daughter.

“When you see the danger, try moving forward rather than letting you find it,” said the 27-year-old woman.

In telling a repeated story in southern Sudan and Uganda, Kuyunge said her husband had been captured by one of the factions – he did not know what – and that there was no information on what had happened since then.
It was a difficult journey to get to Uganda, where “we would see the bodies and try to hide it,” he said.

“Rebel soldiers found us and told us to move on. We used small trails in the bush, so they do not know where we were.”

Since last August, about 1.8 million southern Sudanese have fled abroad. More than half of them ended up in Uganda.

Many numbers are also reported in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

More than 2 million southern Sudanese are internally displaced, ie forced to leave their homes and still in the interior of the country, living in camps or trying to defend themselves.

Many women arriving in Uganda have been victims of sexual violence and other forms of abuse and intimidation in southern Sudan.

According to the UN, about two million people who are executed in southern Sudan or temporarily settled in neighboring countries are children, many of whom are orphans.

It is not surprising that the UN had said earlier this year that the civil war in southern Sudan created the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world.

A UN spokesman in South Sudan estimates that as many as 50,000 southern Sudanese have died in tribal struggles between President Salva Kiir Dinka and his former assistant Nuer Riek Machar who started 100 kilometers pure north of the capital, Juba, there two Years and spread rapidly throughout the country despite a peace agreement between the parties to the conflict.

As often happens in Africa, hunger followed the war. Part of the blame was a drought. However, another factor was that people were too scared to plant or harvest their crops because both sides often did not give up food aid.

Despite its own poverty, Uganda has continued to accommodate everyone in southern Sudan, than on the border.

This remarkable display of good will in an impoverished country with many problems of its own stands contrasts with the way European countries as well as Canada and the United States have limited the number of refugees who have withdrawn from the Middle East and Africa.

Canada’s Minister for International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau announced an additional contribution of $ 86 million during a visit to South Sudan this week. This is in addition to the $ 36.9 million that Canada has given south Sudan in March.

“We manage, but there is a serious shortage of funds,” said Robert Baryamwesiga, Bidi Bidi’s commander or mayor, whose population has gone from zero to 272 in August 000 today, making it the largest refugee camp of the world.

“We have about 15 percent of the funds we need.

This is a serious lacuna that can take us beyond the point of rupture, “said the lawyer and sociologist. This could force the government to review its generosity at some point. “

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