US

South Sudanese refugees could surpass 1 million this year

  • In this photo taken Thursday, July 14, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), people queue at the UN camp in Juba, South Sudan. Some South Sudanese, even those with dual U.S. citizenship, are not being allowed to leave the country, even as the United States, India and other countries continued Thursday to evacuate their citizens while a fragile cease-fire appeared to hold. (Beatrice Mategwa/UNMISS via AP)

    In this photo taken Thursday, July 14, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), people queue at the UN camp in Juba, South Sudan. Some South Sudanese, even those with dual U.S. citizenship, are not being allowed to leave the country, even as the United States, India and other countries continued Thursday to evacuate their citizens while a fragile cease-fire appeared to hold. (Beatrice Mategwa/UNMISS via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indians evacuated from South Sudan arrive at Palam airport with Indian junior foreign minister V.K. Singh, in brown waist jacket, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 15, 2016. At least 156 Indians were evacuated from the violence-hit South Sudan, with 71 arriving by a special Indian Air Force flight to New Delhi. The evacuation was part of Operation Sankat Mochan launched by the Indian government. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

    Indians evacuated from South Sudan arrive at Palam airport with Indian junior foreign minister V.K. Singh, in brown waist jacket, in New Delhi, India, Friday, July 15, 2016. At least 156 Indians were evacuated from the violence-hit South Sudan, with 71 arriving by a special Indian Air Force flight to New Delhi. The evacuation was part of Operation Sankat Mochan launched by the Indian government. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Thursday, July 14, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), people queue to seek protection at the UN camp in Juba, South Sudan. Some South Sudanese, even those with dual U.S. citizenship, are not being allowed to leave the country, even as the United States, India and other countries continued Thursday to evacuate their citizens while a fragile cease-fire appeared to hold. (Beatrice Mategwa/UNMISS via AP)

    In this photo taken Thursday, July 14, 2016 and released by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), people queue to seek protection at the UN camp in Juba, South Sudan. Some South Sudanese, even those with dual U.S. citizenship, are not being allowed to leave the country, even as the United States, India and other countries continued Thursday to evacuate their citizens while a fragile cease-fire appeared to hold. (Beatrice Mategwa/UNMISS via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations refugee agency says the number of South Sudanese refugees in East Africa could pass 1 million this year, and it calls on armed parties to allow safe passage for people fleeing the latest fighting.

Ann Encontre, a U.N. refugee coordinator in South Sudan, said Friday there is concern about fresh outflows of refugees following military clashes in the capital, Juba. She appealed for $701 million in relief aid.

Even before the resurgence of violence in the past week, hundreds of thousands of refugees had been sheltering in Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and elsewhere since civil war began in December 2013.

But there are new reports that South Sudan authorities are blocking some citizens, including those with U.S. or Canadian dual nationality, from leaving the country.