JUBA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency said on Tuesday that about 1.84 million South Sudanese are displaced within the country while nearly 2.5 million have fled and remained as refugees in neighboring countries.
Johann Siffointe, United Nations High Commissioner fore Refugees (UNHCR) representative for South Sudan, said the world's youngest nation has experienced continued displacement since the internal conflict erupted in December 2013.
"Many South Sudanese have been uprooted more than once as they seek opportunities to restart their lives and risk being marginalized in the societies where they live," Siffointe said in a statement issued in Juba. "The consequences of our collective failure to resolve internal displacement can be devastating."
Siffointe spoke at a high-level event in Juba where participants discussed the need to build upon a participatory process for the development of a national law on internal displacement, and its full implementation by national authorities and stakeholders.
The event marked the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles of Internal Displacement, which was developed under the leadership of Francis Deng and widely accepted as being the global standard for protecting and assisting internally displaced people (IDPs).
Addressing the protection needs of the forcibly displaced and seeking solutions to their plight contribute to greater stability for South Sudan and whole regions, Siffointe said.
"UNHCR South Sudan will use the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles as an opportunity to support the government to incorporate the Guiding Principles into their national legislation," he added.
According to the UNHCR, each year millions of people are forced to leave their homes and are displaced due to conflicts, violence and human rights violations.
The UN agency said South Sudan has made positive efforts so far by becoming a member of the Protocol on Internal Displacement from the Great Lakes Pact, and there is an ongoing process to ratify the Kampala Convention.
It said the development of a national law on internal displacement would provide a concrete instrument to address the causes and challenges of internal displacement.