In remarks published on Monday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi regretted that the world had almost kept silent on the plight of more than four million people who have fled their homes in South Sudan since war began four years ago, saying the international community needed to do more to stop the increasing number of displacement in the country.
"Wherever you look there are dead ends,” Grandi said, adding, “The international neglect that you see here is matched nowhere else in the world.”
The UNHCR -- the UN refugee agency-- and other organizations campaigning for refugees say that around two millions of those displaced in South Sudan have fled to neighboring countries, making the situation more complicated. They say two million people have also been internally displaced since a new wave of fighting broke out in South Sudan two years ago.
Grandi on Sunday visited a camp for internally- displaced people (IDP) in the town of Bentiu. The camp, home to some 120,000 people, is South Sudan's largest for IDPs and the second biggest camp for displaced people in the country after the capital of Juba.
The senior UN official said he was shocked by the dire situation of refugees in South Sudan and that more and more people were affected by violence.
"I was hoping South Sudan wouldn't need UNHCR anymore ... Unfortunately our services are still required,” said Grandi, adding that South Sudanese “authorities have a greater responsibility to provide security.”
South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013 when President Salva Kiir fired his deputy Riek Machar, Presstv reported.
Machar went on to lead rebel forces fighting Kiir. The civil war continues to this day and has divided the country along ethnic lines in the country of some 12 million people.
South Sudanese refugees fleeing to neighboring countries have mostly taken shelter in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.