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Sudan Conflict Triggers Mass Exodus to South Sudan Amid Cholera Threat

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Olalekan Adigun
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Sudan Conflict Triggers Mass Exodus to South Sudan Amid Cholera Threat

Since April 15, with the brutal onset of conflict in Sudan, a massive influx of 386,973 individuals have sought refuge in South Sudan. A staggering 83% of these individuals are South Sudanese nationals, underlining the internal displacement crisis. The demographic profile of the refugees is particularly concerning, with half being women and children under the age of 18. Sudanese refugees, a minority within the influx, constitute only 16% of the arrivals.

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A Decline in Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Recent reports indicate a 16% reduction in Sudanese refugee asylum seekers over the past fortnight. This decline in numbers arriving at Wunthow/Joda is partly attributed to the implementation of biometric registration, which efficiently prevents double counting of arrivals. The refugees are primarily utilizing 22 monitored entry points, with humanitarian organizations facilitating their onward journey.

Humanitarian Challenges and Disruptions

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The ongoing conflict, coupled with additional challenges such as flooding, inter-communal violence, and criminality in South Sudan, have disrupted supply lines. This has resulted in a steady increase in prices and reduced access to basic commodities for both the returnees and host communities.

Cholera: A Looming Threat

As the conflict in Sudan continues unabated into its eighth month, a new threat has emerged. Cholera, a deadly disease, now stalks millions in Africa's third largest country. With at least 2,525 suspected cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD), the disease is likely to spread to eight of Sudan's 18 States by December. This puts more than 3.1 million individuals at risk of infection. The outbreak of this disease was first reported in the state of El Gedaref and has since spread to four neighboring states, with cases also reported in a fifth state, South Kordofan, on the border with South Sudan.

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