World Bulletin/News Desk
The UN refugee agency has said that between 50,000 and 52,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia's southwestern region of Gambella are resisting plans to be relocated to higher grounds following heavy rains in their area.
"The relocation was deemed necessary due to the threats of floods at Leichtor refugee camp," Suleiman Momodu, spokesman for the UNHCR Gambella office, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
He said that the U.N. agency has put plans in place to move refugees to a higher ground near border with South Sudan following heavy rains in Leichtor.
"But the refugees are refusing to be relocated to the border area due to security reasons," Momodu said.
"There is an ongoing war in their country and they are expressing concern about their security," he added.
The spokesman said that the U.N. agency was cooperating with the Ethiopian government to convince the refugees to be relocated to another area.
"The Ethiopian government gave them assurances," he said.
There are estimated 190,825 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.
"We continue to receive more than 100 refugees each day from South Sudan, who are fleeing on going conflict in their country," Momodu said.
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in fighting between the two rivals, which has led to an increasingly dire humanitarian situation.
In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again peace talks in Addis Ababa under the auspices of IGAD, a Djibouti-based regional bloc.
Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2014, 15:47