JUBA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Monday welcomed South Sudan's decision to accede to the 1969 Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU) Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.
UNHCR's Representative in South Sudan Ahmed Warsame said the instruments of accession were deposited at the African Union in Addis Ababa in May, and the Convention has now entered into force in South Sudan.
"This signals South Sudan's commitment to meeting international standards for refugee protection and provides us with additional legal instruments to advocate for refugee rights," Warsame said in a statement issued in Juba.
In addition to becoming the 46th country to have ratified the OAU Convention, South Sudan adopted national legislation on refugees in 2012 and established a Commission for Refugee Affairs to coordinate the government response to asylum matters.
UNHCR works closely with the Commission for Refugee Affairs and partner organization in South Sudan to provide assistance and protection to more than 260,000 refugees in the country.
The vast majority are Sudanese from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, with smaller numbers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Central African Republic.