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South Sudan rejects urban refugee settlement

By Bida Elly David

South Sudan has rejected calls for urban refugees demanding settlement in Juba without status, saying each should go back to their countries of origin if they are not ready to be hosted as refugees.

Acting minister of foreign affairs, Deng Dau Deng, noted that foreign refugees do not have any mandate to choose a place of settlement in the name of doing business.

Minister Deng was speaking during Parliamentary sitting, on Wednesday,

He said, choosing a place of settlement for foreign war survivors is the mandate of the government and the humanitarian organizations such as the UNCHRC that will ensure full control of the affected people.

“These are refugees from Sudan who are now refusing to return to their countries of origin; instead, they want to come and settle in Juba,” he said.

The minister said the government, through the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ministry of humanitarian affairs, and the UNHCR, is to determine case by case who is liable to be hosted.

He did not, however, disclose the number of foreign refugees eager to come to Juba for their settlement as claimed.

“There were three to four countries that have refugees before in Sudan. They want to come to Juba. We say no, unless they go back to their country of origin if they don’t want to continue as refugees,” he said.

The young East African nation has gained international credibility as it has contributed to helping nationals of other countries pass to their countries of origin without restriction.

“South Sudan has opened its borders for foreigners fleeing from Sudan. So far, over 600 foreign nationals have been evacuated via Paloch without passport restrictions,” Dau said.

“So, we have gained international credibility as a country because about 11 nationals of other countries have passed through South Sudan to their countries. They were coming without passports, but we received them and allowed them to pass by calling their embassies here and there, and we were facilitated,” minister stated.

The acting foreign affairs minister stressed that South Sudan is a country guided by laws that guarantee the country’s safety from external threats.

Nevertheless, Dau said that the government of South Sudan will continue collaborating with the Sudan government to ensure that calm returns.

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