(Xinhua) -- The UN refugee
agency has said that Kenya should prepare to receive
more refugees from South Sudan.
Sharpe, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Kenya
Assistant Representative in Charge of Protection, told
Xinhua in Nairobi that Kenya currently receives
approximately 300 South Sudanese refugees weekly.
"We are closely monitoring the situation in South
Sudan and it does not look good. So Kenya needs to
prepare to receive more refugees," Sharpe said on the
sidelines of the Panel Discussion on Refugee issues.
Sharpe said that Kenya plays a big role in the East
African region as it provides asylum space for refugees
According to the UNHCR, Kenya already hosts nearly
180,000 South Sudanese refugees. Sharpe said that most
of the refugees are sheltered in the Kakuma refugee camp
in northern Kenya while some are in urban centers.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011,
but civil war broke out in December 2013 between troops
loyal to President Salva Kiir and former First
Vice-President Riek Machar.
In August 2015, the warring parties signed a peace
deal but civil conflict is still prevalent in the
Statistics from the UN indicate that approximately
900,000 South Sudanese refugees have fled to neighboring
countries including Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia.