Top of the Morning: Sudan Preps to Expell Hundres of Thousands of Southerners; Refugee Crisis along Burma/China Border

Top stories from the Development and Aid World News Service — DAWNS Digest.

Sudan Readies to Expel Hundreds of Thousands of Southerners  

There is yet another humanitarian disaster in the making in Sudan. This time, it’s the governments decree that all southern Sudanese will be treated as foreign nationals and forcibly deported. “The proposal would take effect on April 9, Khartoum’s stated deadline for these individuals to either acquire a new nationality or leave the country. It would affect roughly 700,000 people who previously held Sudanese citizenship, but were denationalized en masse by Khartoum when South Sudan gained independence. United Nations agencies in Khartoum have asked the Sudanese government to further explain this proposal, but so far their requests have been met with silence. ‘This proposal is intolerable, and flies in the face of international law,” said Sarnata Reynolds, [Refugee International’s] Statelessness Program Manager. ‘First, the individuals targeted by this plan have a legitimate claim to Sudanese citizenship – since most have lived in Sudan their entire lives – and there is currently no way for them to apply for South Sudanese citizenship. Second, forcing men, women, and children into deportation camps and shipping them off to a country that many have never seen would be a legal and moral disaster.’” (Refugees International

10,000 Refugees from Myanmar Stream Across Border to China

A 17-year ceasefire between ethnic Kachin militant groups and the Burmese military broke down last June. Aid groups are now reporting a humanitarian crisis over the border in China.”Thousands of refugees from fighting in remote northern Myanmar have flooded into makeshift tent cities erected on the other side of the long border with China, creating a humanitarian crisis and a complex diplomatic dilemma for Beijing. Up to 10,000 refugees have fled to an area in southwestern Yunnan province, driven by fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), one of the country’s most powerful rebel groups, five aid groups told Reuters. Many of the refugeees are women, children and elderly people…’All of them don’t have pure drinking water,’ La Rip, the coordinator of local aid group Relief Action Network for IDP and Refugees (RANIR), said by telephone from Myanmar. ‘In some camps, outbreaks of dysentery are taking place. We do not have enough food items to provide for them. We have a very limited budget for them. And they do not have regular incomes, nowhere to work and nowhere to earn money.’” (AlertNet