Khartoum — Thousands of South Sudanese citizens stranded in the capital of Sudan's White Nile State, Kosti, will be moved as of Saturday to Khartoum and flown to Juba afterward, an official has said.
White Nile's governor, Yusuf al-Shambali, told Sudan's official news agency (SUNA) on Thursday that the 12,000 South Sudanese stranded in Kosti since several months are now due to be moved to the capital Khartoum as of Saturday, 12 May.
He pointed out that the relocation process was agreed between local authorities, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and South Sudanese authorities.
The governor further revealed that the first batch of returnees would be flown from Khartoum to Juba or Bahar el-Ghazal via IOM-chartered flights on Sunday.
He added that their luggage would be transported over land to South Sudan.
Al-Shambali also pointed out that this process would continue on daily basis until all South Sudanese in his state are gone.
The operation was announced last week by the IOM which said that the returnees will travel to Khartoum by buses.
South Sudan agreed to issue emergency travel documentation to facilitate their departure from Khartoum.
Also, South Sudanese authorities agreed to make arrangements to move excess baggage given that every passenger will be allowed to take only 20kg of luggage with them in the fight.
Across the border in Juba, meanwhile, the Sudanese embassy requested South Sudan authorities to extend the deadline for transportation of northerners and regularizing the status of those who wish to stay in South Sudan.
The embassy said it issued more than 1000 travel documents to the Sudanese who want to go back and 300 passports to those who wish to regularize their stay as foreigners.