27 October 2011

Sudan: Khartoum State Reviews Progress of Voluntary Repatriation to Citizens

Photo: Christian Aid/Mike Goldwater
Much of South Sudan has been transit as southerners return from Khartoum and other areas in the north to start a new life (file photo).

Khartoum — The Khartoum state governorate was briefed this week on progress of the return by South Sudan citizens to their homes almost four months after the country's breakup.

The report submitted by the minister of Social Development state Afaf Ahmed Abdel Rahman highlighted work done by the joint working group chaired by Commissioner of Humanitarian and Voluntary Work in Khartoum Osama Bahi along with United Nations agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The working group said that so far 30,000 have been repatriated with 382,000 who have registered their desire to return including 30,000 who are living on the streets.

The report said that there are ongoing talks with IOM and Railroad authority to run 12 trips by train for the homeless southerners after which they will focus on other categories needing repatriation.

Following South Sudan independence on July 9th the Sudanese government gave Southern Sudanese a nine month window to leave the country or apply for residency which they are unlikely to get except under limited circumstances.

Since October 2010 at least 360,000 people have returned to South Sudan from the north. IOM said that rain and closure of roads is slowing the process.

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