Addis Ababa, May 1, 2014 (NAN) No fewer than 12,000 South Sudanese, who fled the recent violence, have arrived in the Ethiopian refugee camps, the Red Cross Society has said.
The Ethiopian aid organisation said it was collaborating with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent to provide the new arrivals who fled the South Sudan crisis with medical care and basic services.
Ariane Tombet, Head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia, said the 12,000 were among those who arrived recently.
He said they required immediate medical attention and other aids as “many of them with very small children, walk for days to arrive at the Ethiopia’s Gambella and other refugee camps’’.
More than 95,000 South Sudanese had fled to the neighbouring Ethiopia camp since the violence broke in December 2013.
The number is expected to rise following the recent violence in some parts of the country that left more than 200 dead and many others injured, with more fleeing to neighbouring countries, including Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.
The Secretary-General of the Ethiopian Red Cross, Frehiwot Worku, told NAN on Thursday in Addis Ababa that more refugees were arriving every day while the Red Cross ambulance crews were giving 24-hour service to refugees who needed medical attention.
Worku, however, appealed for additional effort and services from sister humanitarian organisations to meet the need of the ever increasing number in need of immediate attention of shelter and food.
“The rainy season will soon be upon us and with that comes the potential for an increase in water-borne diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea,
“It is vital that we work with refugees now to ensure they are aware of some of the measures they can take to help prevent diseases such as these from taking hold,’’ he said.
The organisations said they had trained 100 volunteers who were refugees themselves to help in improving sanitation and to attend to emergency health needs.
Meanwhile, the parties to the conflict had begun negotiations in Addis Ababa under the IGAD mediation in a renewed effort to resolve the political impasse between the President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President, Reik Machar. (NAN)