Activist champions voluntary return of refugees

By Jurugo Emmanuel Ogasto

An activist has urged South Sudanese refugees in the neighbouring Uganda and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to voluntarily return home to rebuild their lives, saying no one will ferry them back.

Anzo Kennedy, best known by his nickname Freedom Fighter SSD made the call during a one-day youth conference organised by Grace Baptist church yesterday in Pagirinya refugee settlement under the theme ‘Productive youth to fight poverty.”

Anzo noted that it’s high time for the refugees to get back home and utilize the rain season to fight hunger in the community.

“No one will come from South Sudan to carry you back using his or her car,” he said.

“Instead of crying to UN, just buy hoes and Pangas and go home,” he appealed.

“As you all know that UNHCR has reduced food ratio and you still want to wait them,” he teased.

Tombe James, a youth representative of Church of Uganda told No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper that the presence of cattle keepers is one of the reasons refugees ignore to go and start farming in their country because at the end of the year, they will have nothing to harvest.

“Not that we want to stay here but even if you plant twenty acres of maize, the cattle will destroy it,” he said.

“We need the cattle keepers to go back to their origin so that we shall have no worries,” he stressed.

In February, President Kiir called on the refugees to return home while meeting representatives of the IDPs and refugee leaders from various camps across the country.

Keji Mary, a woman leader said insecurity especially in her home village of Mugali in Nimule town is the reason why she fears to get back home.

“You will find that two or three months, the place will be peaceful but after few months you will hear reports of abduction and killings,’’ she said.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says more than 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees live in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda.

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