Juba — Over 1,900 returnees are stranded at Shambe Port in Rumbek after their arrival by river transport just before South Sudan's independence on July 9.
The returnees include children, elderly people and women awaiting transportation to different way stations within Lakes State before their resettlement to various places in South Sudan.
Among the returnees, three people have died on their way home to South Sudan local authorities.
The Lakes state Southern Sudan Relief Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) deputy director, Isaac Karkon Alajabo said his organisation faced difficulties getting vehicles to transport them to their respective localities.
Karkon said that a total of 453 households numbering 1,911 returnees made it to Shambe Port on July 8 while three of their colleagues died along the journey.
He clarified that one of the three died of dehydration caused by what he called "water diarrhea" while the other two drowned after falling into the Nile River.
Among the returnees, there are those to be settled in Yirol East county, Yirol West county, and Rumbek central county, Rumbek East County as well others will be settled in Warrap state, Northern Bahr El Ghazal and Western Bahr El Ghazal State.
He also revealed that over 1,500 of these returnees will be resettled in Greater Yirol, while Rumbek central counties will resettle just over 200 returnees. 30 returnees will be resettled in Warrap State, while 110 returnees will be heading for Wau town to be settled in Western Bahr El Ghazal State. There are only 2 returnees among those stranded at Shambe Port to be transported to Aweil in Northern Bahr El Ghazal.
He also affirmed that his office is committed to settle all returnees to their respective locations despite transport difficulties and lack of information. He urge humanitarian organisation to offer assistance to returnees.
North Sudan's cabinet, soon after South Sudan Independence approved changes to the immigration law which would automatically strip all South Sudanese in the North of their citizenship.
Now a 9 month window has been agreed to allow South Sudanese to apply for citizenship in the North but the criteria and process has not been clarified.