8th August 2020
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11,000 refugees returned to S.Sudan in June

Author: Emmanuel J Akile | Published: Friday, July 17, 2020

File: Sudanese Refugees wait for food distribution at a Maban Camp - June 2013. Photo: Joakino Francis/EyeRadio.

More than 11,000 South Sudanese refugees have returned from neighboring countries in June, the government and the UN refugee agency has said.

In a statement Friday, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) and UNHCR said the returns represent a spike compared to the return of 5,000 and 4,000 in April and May respectively.

This comes amidst exceptional health measures put in place by the Government – including the restriction of cross border movements.

According to UNHCR, more than 30,000 South Sudanese refugees who have spontaneously returned to South Sudan since November 2017, with more than 180,000 of them returning after the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in October 2018 and over 24,000 since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the region.

“The majority of the refugees who have returned in June used informal border crossing points,” the UN refugee agency said.

From Uganda,  up to 5,260 returned to Eastern Equatorial State into Magwi, Pageri, and Pogee locations.

Those from Ethiopia are 1,965 individuals to Akobo, Pochalla, and Lankien in Jonglei areas; others returning from Sudan to Aweil, Wau in Bahr- el- Ghazal region, Upper Nile’s Malakal, Ruweng and Unity locations.

And those from DRC and the Central African Republic reached mainly Western Equatorial State’s Gangura, James Diko, Source Yubu, Andari, and other locations.

The RRC and UNHCR said the main reasons for the returns in June were attributed to the onset of the crop season, coupled with the reduction of food assistance in refugee camps in Uganda and Ethiopia, the increase in the cost of living in refugee-hosting locations and the fear for the spread of COVID-19 in Sudan.

Others returned due to armed insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri areas and some part of the Central African Republic.

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