KAMPALA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Thursday said over 10,000 people from the troubled South Sudan have fled into neigbouring Uganda in the last two days.
In a statement issued here, UNCHR said a total of 7,000 and 3,200 refugees from South Sudan crossed into Uganda on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, bringing the total of new arrivals to 15,984 in the previous five days alone.
Just 1,326 people crossed into the East African country between last Friday and Saturday, with 1,633 more arriving on Sunday. Prior to Friday, the average daily rate was 233.
At least 18,149 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda since fighting between forces loyal to President Kiir and those loyal to First Vice President Machar began in the capital, Juba on July 7.
UNHCR said the influx continues to be characterized by a high proportion of women and children, which accounts for more than 90 percent.
"The influx is severely stretching the capacity of collection points, transit centres and reception centres. Elegu collection point is full to the extent that it is not possible conduct a head count," said UNHCR in a statement.
UNHCR said it expects more people to flee to the East African country, especially now that the 200-kilometre Juba-Nimule road, linking the South Sudan capital to Uganda, has been cleared of checkpoints. The border was previously closed on the South Sudan side, but restrictions have been eased.
The people reportedly are arriving in Uganda are tired, hungry and others are suffering from malnutrition after walking without food for days while carrying belongings.
The UN has said that at least 300 people were killed and over 10,000 fled their homes after the recent fighting between two rival army factions in Juba.
"There are reports that armed gunmen continue to loot properties, forcibly recruit boys and young men, and murder civilians in Magwi," said UNHCR.
Although a fragile ceasefire has held since last Monday, the UN has warned of the possibility of fresh fighting in the capital, Juba.