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Family Flees To Uganda To Escape Violence In South Sudan

Family flees South Sudan 1

Nyok Deng, his wife Agok Mayen and their five children -- all aged between 11 months and 14 years -- fled Bor on the 20th of December. They crossed the White Nile River and stayed there for 20 days, waiting and hoping for the situation to change. According to Nyok there were over a thousand people on the riverside.

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Sometimes during the night Nyok would cross the river and sneak back to their home to collect some food, which is what the family survived on for the 20 days.

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"The whole time we were there, we were thinking and hoping it would end. But then it got too bad. The soldiers would tie jerry cans to themselves to swim into the river and shoot at us from there. It became too dangerous to sneak home for food, and I couldn't see an end to it . I couldn't risk the lives of all the children, so we had to leave,' said Nyok.


The family travelled to Juba, before moving to Elegu reception centre. Children are given High Energy Biscuits from WFP upon arrival at the centre.

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Most children arrive hungry and exhausted to the centre, and these highly nutritous biscuits from WFP provide quick nutrition when cooking facilities are scarce.

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"Now that we are at Elegu Reception Centre I feel relieved. I no longer fear the gunshots, though I am still very nervous. When I hear a loud sudden noise, I think it must be gunfire. But that will go in time," said Nyok

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The family eventually left the reception centre and headed for Nyumazi transit centre. "I will go to wherever the UN sends me," said Nyok.

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Nyok lifts one of his five children onto the truck headed for Nyumazi transit centre.

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Heading to Nyumazi.

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"It is difficult to know what will happen between the two sides, but for us, I just feel free," said Nyok as his family reached safety in Uganda in early February.

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"Everything at home has been destroyed. The house has burned down, the fields destroyed and the livestock taken. I just want to start a new life," Nyok said.

Nyok and his family of seven fled Bor on the 20th of December. After taking refuge on the riverbank for 20 days with more than a thousand other people, the family travelled to Juba before carrying onto Elegu reception centre in Uganda. They finally arrived at Nyumazi transit centre, where they await a more permanent settlement. In the meantime, WFP is providing this family and thousands of others with hot meals and food rations.