Archive for July 29th, 2014

29/07/2014

Young Refugee Sisters Survive on Wild Grass, Leaves

Human Wrongs Watch

Gambella, Ethiopia, July 2014, (UNHCR) — Twelve-year-old Nyawech Chuol can barely stop sobbing long enough to tell the story of the night South Sudan’s civil war came to her home. She and her eight-year-old sister, Nyalouk, traumatized into silence, lost their family after a gun battle and now they are completely alone n a foreign land.

©UNHCR/K.Gebreegziabher. |Two sisters who fled South Sudan alone (in yellow and red on left) pose with their "foster family" inside a UNHCR communal shelter on the border inside Ethiopia.

©UNHCR/K.Gebreegziabher | Two sisters who fled South Sudan alone (in yellow and red on left) pose with their “foster family” inside a UNHCR communal shelter on the border inside Ethiopia.

Nyawech says they were fast asleep some weeks ago when the conflict that has swept South Sudan for the last seven months reached her village, Matiang, in Upper Nile State.

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“It was very dark in the night and we were all sleeping when we heard heavy gun shots,” she says, speaking through an interpreter at a crowded reception centre on the Pagak border crossing just inside Ethiopia. “I only remember putting on my dress, grabbing my younger sister by the hand and running out of the house in the darkness.” The family ran in different directions, and she hasn’t seen any relatives since.
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“When day light came and I saw only Nyalouk with me, I realized that my father, my mother and my two elder sisters were not with me and I cried a lot,” she says, as the tears flow again.

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