S. Sudanese refugees fleeing violence to Sudan feel homesick

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Though memories of thousands of South Sudanese citizens still store pictures of horrible tragedies in their country, which forced them to flee before settling in Sudan, some of them still feel homesick and wish to return home.

Martha Simon, a female South Sudanese refugee who fled from South Sudan's Upper Nile State to Sudan's White Nile, is still recalling the horrors and atrocities which she witnessed in her small town as if they had occurred yesterday.

Though she presently lives in a safe refugee camp in Sudan's White Nile State, she still feels panic whenever she hears a loud sound, even if it is just an explosion of a vehicle tyre.

"This camp is safe, but our fear is psychological due to what we have experienced of atrocities," Martha told a Xinhua team recently visited Al-Alagaiya refugee camp in White Nile State near the border with South Sudan.

"You may never believe the atrocities which took place in South Sudan. Imagining a girl slaughtered in front of her mother's eyes, and then, under gun point, the mother may be asked to eat part of her daughter's dead body," she noted.

Martha got in a fit of tears before sadly saying that "we feel sad because our dreams have been killed. We were dreaming that the separation of South Sudan would give us a united and safe state, but the outcome was death and destruction."

"We will never forgive our leaders for what had happened. We were victims of their competition over power. Almost half of South Sudan's population are currently scattered as displaced people or refugees," she added.

She explained that she fled with her two little daughters from Geiger village in South Sudan's Upper Nile State after tribal clashes broke out in her small village between Dinka tribe, to which President Salva Kiir Mayardit belongs, and her Nuer tribe, to which his rival Riek Machar belongs.

Martha lives in Al-Alagaiya refugee camp in Sudan's White Nile State which accommodates around 15,000 South Sudanese refugees.

Though Martha feels comfortable as she is away from the atrocities in her country, she said she still feels homesick and hopes to return soon to her village.

She appeared worried about the future of her two daughters who are living in temporary houses and lack basic services.

"As you see, we are living in temporary tents that hardly protect us against heat, cold or rain. All my concern is confined to thinking about the future of my two daughters," she said.

"I'm not sure they are receiving proper education. There is a school inside the camp, but it lacks the necessary requirements and there are no professional teachers," she added.

Sudan's White Nile State has been witnessing continued influxes of South Sudanese refugees who are fleeing the war and famine in the new-born country.

To this end, Abbasher Al-Nour, deputy chairman of Al-Alagaiya refugee camp, told Xinhua that "About 5,000 South Sudanese families live in the camp making a total of around 15,000 refugees."

"The Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) provides all necessary services for the population in the camp, where until now, matters are progressing well without any security problems. There is a high-level coordination between all the security bodies, the HAC authorities, the commission of refugees and the UN and national organizations," he noted.

In the meantime, Adam Joub, also a South Sudanese refugee, for his part, told Xinhua that "we have come here because of the collapse of South Sudan State. Unfortunately, what is happening in South Sudan is an ethnic and tribal war."

"We headed to Sudan which received us without any complications. We receive all the necessary services and security is available. Our children receive proper education. We thank the Government of Sudan for this generosity," he added.

Earlier this week, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said that around 20,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Sudan's border areas within one week fleeing the violence at the Upper Nile area near Sudan's White Nile state.

"Nearly 20,000 South Sudanese refugees reportedly arrived in White Nile and South Kordofan states between April 29 and May 6," said the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in its most recent report citing the most recent update on South Sudanese influx into Sudan by the UNHCR.

About 1,300 refugees arrive daily in White Nile from Shilluk area through Joda and Migainis areas in Upper Nile, according to the report.

Sudanese authorities estimate the number of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan at about 600,000 and expect continued influxes under the continued violence in the South.

South Sudan plunged into violence in December 2013 when fighting erupted between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and defectors led by his former deputy Riek Machar.

The United Nations estimate that the clashes killed thousands of South Sudanese and displaced around three millions.

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