Over 70,000 returnees in Magwi need food aid

Magwi County commissioner Otto David Remson

By Arop Daniel Otto

Magwi County Commissioner Otto David Remson said more than seventy thousand returnees have voluntarily repatriated from the neighboring refugees camp in Uganda to Magwi County since October last year.

The 2016 conflict which spread across South Sudan forced half of the population of Magwi County to the refugee camps in Uganda.

However, after the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement in 2018, Magwi County started witnessing huge number of returnees on voluntary basis.

Mr. Otto David Remson said there is total increase in population of Magwi County as many are coming out of the camps.

He said the returnees are in dire need of humanitarian assistance to rescue their situation and begin stability.

He urged the returnees to engage in income generating activities to sustain their resettlement process.

One of the returnees identified as Akech Golda, mother to 6 who returned in Pajok Payam-Magwi County said UN Agency-WFP’s initiative to reduce food ratio have forced her to quit the camp.

According to her, the current food ratio can’t last for more than one month.

Akumu Rose, a mother to 4 children who returned in Lobone Payam said unfair treatment by host community which is characterized by rape prompted her repatriation.

She said women and girls are targeted by some host community for rape whenever they went out to collect firewood.

Akumu urged humanitarian organizations and the government of South Sudan to rescue their situation with provision of food and non-food items.

Another returnee identified as Joseph Okello said despite his return, they are facing difficulties in terms of access to good health, clean drinking water among others.

He urged the government to renovate inactive health facilities to serve the local population.

On the other hand, Magwi County RRC coordinator Salfa Ben said the government is mobilizing support from humanitarian organizations.

Mr. Salfa Ben added they have started registration of the returnees to establish their accurate population which will help in resource mobilization.  

He expressed government’s readiness to support the returnees in Magwi County.

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