As southern Sudan continues to take in Ugandan refugees, top-level refugee commissioners have been planning ways of coping with the influx, International and African refugee organisations have gone to the Ugandan-Sudan border.
GV and SV Sudanese soldiers watching as new refugees arrive by boat. (3 shots)
SV Soldiers checking through refugees' belongings.
CU Ugandan number plates on cars PAN TO refugee camp
SV Refugee cooking meal on open fire
GV Refugees sitting on mud floor amongst belongings.
SCU Mr. Kevin Lyonette, Deputy Chief of the East African Section of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, speaking to reporters.
CU Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Abdul Rahman, speaking to reporter.
INTERVIEWER: "Mr. Lyonette, I believe that the refugee population in the Sudan is the biggest in Africa, is that right?"
LYONETTE: "This is definitely correct, principally because Sudan has what is estimated now at 400,000 refugees, if not more, registered or know to the authorities. This is because Sudan has numerous borders with many, many countries and at the moment refugees, for example, come from Eritrea Ethiopia, Chad, Zaire, and of course the most recent influx, the Ugandans. One thing that we in UNHOR particularly appreciate is that fact that the Sudanese Government, in terms of its legislation, is the most advanced in Africa in the sense that it not only fully upholds our own convention protocol on asylum and protection of refugees, but it upholds the O.A.U. Convention through its own Asylum Act of 1974. This means that anybody who crosses the borders of Sudan, fearing persecution, suffering persecution, fearing to go back to their country of origin, is immediately given full protection and asylum by the Sudanese Government."
RAHMAN: "The problem which is facing us is grave because this is the rainy season. There is no grass and we are facing the problem of shelter. So we need to provide the refugees with shelter, we need to provide them with foodstuffs. We need to transfer them away from the border. We need to supply them with medical services as well. So all this is happening at a time when we are facing problems of food in the southern Sudan."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: As southern Sudan continues to take in Ugandan refugees, top-level refugee commissioners have been planning ways of coping with the influx, International and African refugee organisations have gone to the Ugandan-Sudan border. Among them are the Deputy Chief of the East African Section of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, Mr. Kevin Lyonette, and the Sudanese Commissioner for Refugees, Mr. Abdul Rahman.
SYNOPSIS: The Sudan is facing its own kind of "Boat People" as Ugandan refugees cross the Nile, fleeing the takeover of their country by Tanzanian and Ugandan troops. Many bring tales of atrocities allegedly committed by the forces of Uganda's new leader, President Yusufu Lule. But, at the end of their journey, they face an even greater fight .... the battle to survive starvation and disease.
Refugee authorities are trying to sort out the chaos, and feed the starving Ugandans, who - ironically - compete for their food alongside the people of their new country. Kevin Lyonette and Abdul Rahman had this to say about the problem......