News, Unity State

Returnees in dire need of aid

By Yien Gattuor

About 567 individuals who fled Sudan conflict to Koch County, Unity State of South Sudan, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) coordinator for Koch County in Unity State, Nuor Riek said the new arrivals are all returnees without Sudanese refugee, registered.

A team of RRC officials headed by the county coordinator on Tuesday visited Nyaruop Transit to verify the exact number of new arrivals at the site.

Riek, however, said humanitarian organizations are working around the clock to ensure that emergency supplies, including food and non-food items, are delivered to the new arrivals.

“We got a lot of people, and the children were crying, and the number is huge. Aid agencies will hold meetings with us, and deliver food assistance immediately,” he said.

According to Riek, South Sudanese returnees will trace their families and rejoin relatives in Koch County.

Koch County authorities said they are yet to find out the accurate number of returnees because new arrivals are still coming on a daily basis.

“We didn’t count them, but we are going to set up a team to get the accurate number that is coming every day,” the RRC coordinator added.

Mrs. Nyaluak Meat, one of the returnees escaping the violence in Sudan, appealed for more assistance from humanitarian organizations.

“I am a citizen of South Sudan. We came here as a result of fighting that escalated in Sudan. Those people who have come from there [Sudan] don’t have any shelter, water, or food,” she said.

Nyaluak, who said she got married in Khartoum, returned to South Sudan’s Unity State with her four children.

Another returnee, Chol Biel, who fled from Khartoum, said the fighting most severely affected South Sudanese living in the north.

“I am the mother of six children. We don’t have food or water. It is very difficult for us now to find shelter,” Biel cried.

She said their exodus to Unity State was a long and risky journey, as others fell into wrong hands.

“The people who traveled before us were attacked and robbed, and others were killed. But we thank God that we all arrived back to South Sudan safely,” she lamented.

Hundreds of people have died in the fighting that pitted the army under Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Burhan against the paramilitary RSF under Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as Hemedti.

Each of the fighting parties has blamed the other for the violation of a series of ceasefire, as millions are displaced, and hundreds of thousands crossed borders to neighboring countries.


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