Refugees of South Sudan

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South Sudanese refugees[1]
Total population
approximately 10.26 million
Regions with significant populations

South Sudanese refugees are persons originating from the African country of South Sudan, but seeking refuge outside the borders of their native country. The world's youngest independent country has a recent and troubled history of prolonged conflicts and ecosystem mismanagement such as overlogging, which has led to desertification.[2] These forces have resulted not only in violence and famine, but also the forced migration of large numbers of the population, both inside and outside the country's borders. South Sudan was cited as the largest refugee crisis in 2016, being the world's third largest, followed by Syria and Afghanistan.[3]

Internally displaced South Sudanese[edit]

At least 2 million people in South Sudan became internally displaced persons as a result of the South Sudanese Civil War, which began in 2013.[4]

Host countries[edit]

Map showing the displacement of South Sudanese civilians due to the civil war as of March 2017

As of October 2017, an estimated 2,073,105 South Sudanese people were refugees in neighboring countries.[5]


According to Norwegian Refugees Council (NRC) in Sudan, about 5000 South Sudanese refugees are settled in semi-settlements around Khartoum; most of which lived in South Sudanese states neighbouring Sudan.[6]


About 272,000 refugees from South Sudan were living in the Gambela Region of Ethiopia, as of April 2016.[7] Most of them live in these refugee camps:[8]

  • Pugnido camp: ~62,801
  • Tierkidi camp: ~54,750
  • Kule camp: ~49,410
  • Leitchuor camp: ~4,480

Blue Nile students at high schools in Bambasi, Tango, Sherkole, and Ashura refugee camps in Ethiopia report difficulties sitting for the Ethiopian National Examinations.[9] As of 2014, around 5,500 refugees from South Sudan were living at Tirgol, Ethiopia.[10]


According to the UNHCR, the number of registered South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has crossed the one million threshold as of Fall 2017.[11] As of January 2016, most were located at Adjumani, Arua, Kiryandongo and Kampala. Uganda opened four reception centres for South Sudanese refugees in 2014. They were located in Keri in Koboko district, Rhino in Arua, Dzaipi in Adjumani at the Uganda-South Sudan border near Nimule, and one at Entebbe Airport.[12] The Dzaipi settlement became overcrowded, as it had 25,000 people, and was only designed to hold 3,000 people.[13] In February 2016, The UN Children's fund reported that "The transit centres are at their limits. Nyumanzi Transit Center can accommodate 3,000 persons but can be stretched to 5,000 individuals in a worst case scenario while Maaji Settlement (Adjumani) can take another 10,000 refugees."[14] Refugees at the Kiryandongo settlement camp have taken up agriculture.[15] The Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Northwestern Uganda became the largest refugee camp in the world in early 2017, with over 270,000 refugees.[16] Baratuku, established in 1991, has hosted successive waves of South Sudanese refugees since the Second Sudanese War. It continues to operate with, as of 2018, significant challenges in supplies and infrastructure.[17]


In Kenya, 44,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived between late 2013–2015. As a result, Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp expanded by almost half.[18]

Hosting refugees[edit]

There are 272,261 registered refugees in South Sudan in 2016: 251,216 are from Sudan, 14,767 are from the DRC, 4,400 from Ethiopia and 1,878 are from the CAR.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-03-12. Retrieved 2017-03-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "South Sudan – DESERTIFICATION". DESERTIFICATION. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  3. ^ , OECD, accessed February 3, 2018
  4. ^ South Sudan Archived 2016-09-18 at the Wayback Machine, Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, accessed May 14, 2016
  5. ^ "South Sudan Situation - Regional Overview". Archived from the original on 10 February 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Apuk's story: a glimpse at the life of South Sudanese refugees". Retrieved 2022-08-11.
  7. ^ "Ethiopia Accuses South Sudan Gunmen of Killing 140". VOA. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  8. ^ "South Sudan Situation - Ethiopia - Gambella". Archived from the original on 2018-02-01. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  9. ^ "Blue Nile students at refugee camps complain of Ethiopian syllabus | Radio Tamazuj". Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  10. ^ Caring for South Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia Archived 2017-08-08 at the Wayback Machine, Doctors without Borders, January 23, 2014
  11. ^ (UNHCR), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "UNHCR South Sudan Situation". Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  12. ^ "Uganda grapples with influx of South Sudanese refugees". IRIN. 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  13. ^ "Caring for South Sudanese in Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia". Doctors Without Borders USA. 2014-01-23. Archived from the original on 2017-08-08. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  14. ^ "Uganda Situation Report on South Sudanese Refugees, 1 January – 7 February 2016". ReliefWeb. 2016-02-13. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  15. ^ "Uganda: South Sudanese refugees turn to agriculture for survival – Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  16. ^ Hattem, Julian (2017-04-03). "Uganda at breaking point as Bidi Bidi becomes world's largest refugee camp". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  17. ^ UNHCR (June 2018). "Uganda Refugee Response Monitoring Settlement Fact Sheet: Baratuku". ReliefWeb. No. Uganda. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  18. ^ "U.N. expands refugee camp in Kenya as South Sudan conflict rages". Reuters. 2015-06-20. Retrieved 2016-05-14.
  19. ^ "South Sudan Situation - South Sudan". Archived from the original on 2017-07-18. Retrieved 2016-06-19.