KHARTOUM, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Up to 10,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Sudan since violent clashes erupted in their country last September, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced Sunday.
"Up to 10,000 people, most of who are nomads, may have crossed into Sudan, mostly in West and South Kordofan areas," Kai Nielsen, UNHCR Representative in Sudan told Xinhua Sunday.
"The UNHCR is coordinating with the (Sudanese) government, the WFP and other UN agencies to respond to the needs of these people should the figures be confirmed," he added.
Earlier Sudan announced that it would not treat the South Sudanese citizens fleeing from the conflict to Sudan as refugees but would treat them as citizens who can stay anywhere in the country.
Meanwhile, media reports indicated that around 350,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected to cross into the Sudanese territories in the coming days as armed clashes in the newly-born state escalate.
During the past few weeks, South Sudan has witnessed clashes between two military factions. The fighting has divided South Sudanese society between supporters of President Salva Kiir Mayardit along with members of his tribe, the Dinka, and supporters of Vice President Riek Machar and members of his tribe, the Nuer.
The violence has resulted in more than 1,000 people dead and over 121,600 civilians displaced, and has led some 63,000 others to take refuge at various UN compounds around the country, according to UN reports.