Returnees to South Sudan gather pace

The number of Southern Sudanese returning home is expected to swell to over 800,000 by the end of the year, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

South Sudanese returning home

South Sudanese returning home

Since December last year, some 200,000 southerners have returned from the north attracted by the prospects of living in the world’s newest country of South Sudan.

UNHCR says southerners returning home were also worried about their citizenship status if they remain in the north.

Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says the returnees were adding pressure on the already fragile humanitarian situation in the south.

UNHCR is appealing for 53.4 million dollars to support the returnees.

“UNHCR’s role is mainly focused on ensuring monitoring of protection needs along the way, at transit points and in return areas. As well as facing insecurity, some returnees are becoming stranded along the way due to lack of means. There are currently close to 20,000 individuals stuck in the various departure centers around Khartoum, many of which lack shelter space. People have in some instances been sleeping in the open for nearly two months. UNHCR and other humanitarian actors have been approached last week by the Government of South Sudan with transportation from the congested departures.”

South Sudanese voted overwhelmingly for independence from the north in the just concluded referendum.

Filed under Today's News.
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