SOUTH SUDAN / RETURNEES

Preview Language:   Original
ENGLISH 21-Mar-2018 00:03:25
Voluntary returnees and humanitarian officials are seeking assistance to help displaced persons to ease back into their abandoned homes in South Sudan. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / RETURNEES
TRT: 03:25
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: KUKU / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 15 MARCH 2018, KAJO KEJI, SOUTH SUDAN / 20 MARCH, JUBA SOUTH SUDAN

SHOTLIST:

16 MARCH 2018, KAJO KEJI, SOUTH SUDAN

1.Various shots, Grace Kobong walking to her homestead
2. Wide shot, homestead and cassava drying in the fore-ground
3. SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“I plan to come here and stay. My son died, so no one is helping me there. He usually used to come here and harvest the cassava, but now he is no longer there. I am back here now and to farm, so now I am looking to get maize seeds so I can plant.”

20 MARCH 2018, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

6. Wide shot, Manase Lomole on stage
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Manase Lomole, Chairperson of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission:
“My most important appeal is that, if the weather begins change, and the rains are going to be there very soon, I want to appeal to the international community and our partners that try to preposition agricultural inputs particularly to these most productive areas, so that when the people come back, they can begin growing their own food. In most communities in South Sudan, relying on relief food is a taboo, is an insult, is humiliating, is disgraceful, so I want to appeal to you is you that you may help us in providing the means of production to our people as they come home.”

15 MARCH 2018, KAJO KEJI, SOUTH SUDAN

8. Wide shot, Cassava drying in homestead
9. Wide shot, Grace Kobong peeling Cassava
10. SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“I am praying that God will help us so that peace may come – so that our people may come back, because we are suffering there. Children are also suffering. It is difficult to get water. They bring a ton of water a day, and each person gets two jerricans. We just use it for drinking, and don’t bathe. So the children are also suffering in terms of food.”
11. Various shots, Grace peeling cassava
12. SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“Now I don’t have strength to work. We have been running since Anyanya one, until the time of SPLA – and now we are also still running, which is the third time we are running. We are tired. So we are bringing ourselves back to our country.”
13. SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“Because there is a difference between (in being in a) foreign country, because we are used to our country. Our country is good.”
14. Various shots, Grace peeling
15. Med shot, peeled cassava in basin and heap of unpeeled cassava on ground
16. SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee
“I have the faith, and I pray that peace may come to our country. I pray everyday that God may turn his face to us. May peace come to this country.”
17. Wide shot, women at homestead

STORYLINE:

With the onset of the rains in South Sudan, Grace Kobong has resolved that she will return home for good.

She is among thousands of residents from Kajo Keji town who fled their homes and farms, and have been living in displaced people’s sites in the country, or refugee camps in Uganda.

She and many women recently returned home to see what their chances are for settling back.

Grace has been farming cassava for years and this has helped her finically over the years.

Now at home, she has been physically surveying the area and possibilities that will enable her decision to stay.

As she plans her next steps, she and others say they will need some support.

SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“I plan to come here and stay. My son died, so no one is helping me there. He usually used to come here and harvest the cassava, but now he is no longer there. I am back here now and to farm, so now I am looking to get maize seeds so I can plant.”

In Juba, a resident of Kajo Keji, the Chairperson of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, spoke at a seminar to discuss the settlement of internally displaced people and returnees who are voluntarily returning to their homes, and asked for support for displaced South Sudanese who are considering returning home.

SOUNDBITE (English) Manase Lomole, Chairperson of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission:
“My most important appeal is that, if the weather begins to, and the rains are going to be there very soon, I want to appeal to the international community and our partners that try to preposition agricultural inputs particularly to these most productive areas, so that when the people come back, they can begin growing their own food. In most communities in South Sudan, relying on relief food is a taboo, is an insult, is humiliating, is disgraceful, so I want to appeal to you is you that you may help us in providing the means of production to our people as they come home.”

Since her return, Grace she has been able to access her farm and has been harvesting cassava and preserving these for both future use and to sell in the market across the border in Uganda.

With a constantly fluctuating currently, a medium bucket of cassava could fetch close to five US dollars.

Grace says what they get in the refugee camps is not enough, and the income has been a welcome bonus.

SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“I am praying that God will help us so that peace may come – so that our people may come back, because we are suffering there. Children are also suffering. It is difficult to get water. They bring a ton of water a day, and each person gets two jerricans. We just use it for drinking, and don’t bathe. So the children are also suffering in terms of food.”

Years of conflict in South Sudan has taken a toll on her. Both her husband and son have died, and there is no one to help her around.

SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee:
“Now I don’t have strength to work. We have been running since Anyanya one, until the time of SPLA – and now we are also still running, which is the third time we are running. We are tired. So we are bringing ourselves back to our country.”

Her situation and love for her country have made her hopeful.

SOUNDBITE (Kuku) Grace Kobong, Voluntary Returnee
“I have the faith, and I pray that peace may come to our country. I pray every day that God may turn his face to us. May peace come to this country.”

For Grace who has been able to generate an income while crisscrossing the border, leaving her fertile farm land for the refugee camps has been a struggle – but as she prays and hopes for peace, others may continue trickling back home to join her, as their return has now become critical for their survival.
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unifeed180321e
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2114524