A displaced woman and her child from Sudan wait outside a refugee camp registration center in South Sudan.
AFP/Getty Images
A displaced woman and her child from Sudan wait outside a refugee camp registration center in South Sudan.

Story highlights

Concern for those stranded comes amid reports of attacks along Sudan's border with South Sudan

Between 12,000-15,000 South Sudanese "are running out of means to support themselves," a U.N. official says

A South Sudan army spokesman denies Sudan's claims of aggression

South Sudan split from Sudan last year as part of a 2005 peace deal

CNN —  

Thousands of South Sudanese stranded for months at a river port in neighboring Sudan will be airlifted to their homeland under a new agreement, the International Organization for Migration said.

The concern for their plight came amid reports of military attacks along Sudan’s hotly contested border with South Sudan.

Those stranded have waited with their “entire house holdings” for transport to South Sudan, and lack basic services including food and water, the United Nations said.

Between 12,000 and 15,000 South Sudanese are at the Kosti way station, “many of whom have been waiting with their entire house holdings for months for transport to South Sudan,” a U.N. statement said.

“All are dependent on collaboration between Sudan and South Sudan and assistance from the international community for proper transportation facilities, food, water, health care and other essential services and most do not have the means to transport themselves to South Sudan,” the United Nations said in a statement.

South Sudan split from Sudan last year as part of a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of war in Africa’s largest nation. The war left 2 million people dead and ended with the peace agreement that included an independence referendum for the south.

Significant issues between the countries remain unresolved, however, including status of their citizens, division of national debt, disputed border areas and sharing of oil wealth.

But clashes around oil-rich border areas have continued despite the split, sparking fears the two sides could return to an all-out war.

South Sudanese forces withdrew days later after Sudan lodged protests with the United Nations and African Union, but South Sudan said it continued to come under aerial and ground attack.

South Sudan army spokesman Philip Aguer denied Sudan’s claims of aggression, telling CNN Tuesday that their troops have not crossed the border.

“We never crossed the territories of South Sudan,” Aguer said. Sudan’s charges are “just to cover their own activities.”

Aguer accused Sudan of attacking positions in South Sudan’s Unity state Tuesday morning. South Sudan forces captured 27 Sudanese solders and three trucks with heavy machine guns, he said.

“This is a serious continuation of acts of aggression from Khartoum,” he said.

Significant issues between the countries remain unresolved, however, including status of their citizens, division of national debt, disputed border areas and sharing of oil wealth.