Sudan Refugee Camps
The conflict in
Sudan has displaced around 5.5 million of its citizens with the Darfur
region accounting for an estimated three
million of this total out of the area's total population of 6.2
million. In 2008 alone some 310,000 people were displaced.
Whilst there are 2.2 million refuges living around camps near
the Sudanese capital of Khartoum of which 57% are under the age
of twenty, camps in Chad near the Darfur border are also home to
a quarter of a million Sudanese who have been forced to abandon
their homeland because of the conflict.
Chad is hardly able to look after itself let alone hundreds
of thousands of refugees (camp, left). Its a country marred by decades of
and life expectancy is just 47.7 years.
There are inevitably tensions between those living in refugee
camps and the local population. “The refugees get food
regularly,” says one villager close to the camps. “That’s nice
for them. But we don’t have anyone who will give us food. We
have nothing. Everyone is suffering.”
Another issue of contention is wood.
Many from the camps forage around for firewood, as do the
locals. As another villager commented “Before the refugees
arrived it was easy to get wood to prepare meals. Since their
arrival all of the wood has gone. We have to walk three to four
hours to the mountains to find wood.”
The refugee camps are known targets for the kidnap and
abduction of children, some as young as just six years old, into
groups such as the
Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Others were lured by the
promise of education in southern Sudan after the end of the
conflict, whilst others willingly joined up, seeing no future in
the bleak refugee camps, only abject poverty and starvation.
A new refugee crisis developed in Sudan following
independence of South Sudan from the north in 2011 not only
because of the overwhelming numbers of those who returned to
their 'new country' without the resources to provide for them
but also because of the ongoing conflict around the border and
internally forcing many to flee to safety.
The United Nations
Refugee Agency estimates that there are currently 201,469
refugees living in South Sudan ~ 61% aged 17yrs or younger. Some
of these camps such as the one in Maban county, which is home to
100,000 refugees, have been described as 'ticking time bombs'
following heavy rains, flooding and the imminent break out of
disease. The camps have also caused tension with those already
living in the area as they compete for the limited food and
water supplies available. The chart below shows where these Sudan refugees are