News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Government airlifts returnees

By Ngor Deng

Government has started airlifting South Sudanese returnees who escaped the fighting in Sudan, from the border town of Renk.

The ongoing war in Sudan began in mid-April this year and forced thousands of South Sudanese who were residing there to return home.

On Saturday, June 10, 2023, the first batch of returnees, who hail from Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, arrived at Aweil Airport from Renk.

The Deputy Governor of northern Bahr El Ghazal State, Tong Lual Ayat, received the first batch of returnees at the Aweil airstrip.

“We received 50 people who are mostly women, children, and elderly from Renk,” Ayat told the media upon receipt of the evacuees at Aweil airstrip.

“They (returnees) are among the people who fled Sudan to South Sudan because of the ongoing war in Khartoum,” he added.

Those already airlifted to Aweil were being taken to the women’s center in Aweil for registration with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC), and humanitarian organizations were set to begin their registration right away.

Recently, NBGs governor, Tong Akeen accompanied the national minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Mr. Albino Akol, along with other delegates to Upper Nile State, especially Renk and Paloch border towns, to assess the humanitarian situation of the returnees.

Arriving at Aweil Airport on Saturday, June 10, some of the returnees expressed happiness and hope about reuniting with their communities at their places of origin.

“We thanked our government for supporting us. It is exactly two months of staying in an open space without food, medication, or other basic needs in Renk. The population is big, and we suffered a lot,” one returnee narrated their ordeals.

Like many other nationals fleeing Sudan’s war, the returnees had to go through unbearable situation, following the political unrest between the Sudan armed forces and the paramilitary rapid support forces.

Another returnee, Deng Garang, urged the government to transport those who remained in Renk back to their states, saying the situation in Upper Nile, for the people who are not from there, is very unbearable.

The returnee, already repatriated to their states appreciated the government but reiterated their call to speed up transportation of the people still stranded at Renk transit camp.

“They (returnees) do not have shelters, let alone food, at this rainy season,” Garang cried after reaching his home state, Aweil, claiming that those others left behind were in sorrowful situation.


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