Thousands of South Sudanese refugees return home from Uganda

Some fleeing villagers in Agoro-Somboro Village of Magwi County - credit | Dejoe Mark - February 23, 2022.

Some 3,500 South Sudanese refugees some of who were hosted in camps in Uganda have returned home particularly to Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State in the past two months, a relief official said.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj, the coordinator of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Magwi County, Mr Salva Ben Okeny, said the returnees joined their families in Mugali, Nimule and parts of Magwi.

However, he said the returnees are in dire need of food and non-food items, thus, calling on humanitarian organisations to provide assistance.

“If there is any kind of food distribution for some few months to those who returned will help them. Seed distribution also should be early,” he said.

Ms Santa Abalo, a mother of eight who recently returned, said: “We returned because the condition is worse there. What forced us to come is the issue of hunger. My children are hungry. We need help because we don’t have shelters. We only depend on relatives,” she added.

Mr John Okuma, the Chairperson of the Eastern Equatoria Relief and Rehabilitation Commission, confirmed that many refugees returned home from refugee camps in Uganda.

“People are coming back home because of the relative peace which the peace agreement has provided. As government together with partners, we have to make sure that schools are renovated and other services are provided to them,” he said.

In the last two weeks, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan said more than 600,000 refugees have returned to the country since 2018.

It attributed the return to relative peace in some parts of the country.


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