News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Over 200 returnees arrive Aweil with families without relatives

By Ngor Deng

A second batch of returnees from Malakal, Upper Nile state arrived in Aweil town, on Wednesday.

At least 245 returnees in number were airlifted by four planes chartered by the government of Northern Bahr El Ghazal State but amidst the newcomers is a family which doesn’t know any relative in the state.

Gabriel Deng Kuol one of the returnees expressed his happiness upon touching down at Aweil airstrip.

“We traveled by boat from Renk to Malakal and we were given some money by IOM. They said this money can be used for local transport up to our homes and villages here in Aweil,” he said.

Another returnee Mrs. Angong Dut appreciated the government and UN for their support.

“We now feel relieved from stress and other conditions such as sitting in the rains and poor hygiene,” she said.

“My prayer is that, let there be no snake here in Aweil. In Renk, stories of snakes were terrible and worried us. The soil in Renk is not good for people who do not have homes,” Angong lamented.

Thank God that I arrived in my home village even though no one I know to settle me, but I will hustle to look for those who are related to me,” she stressed.

Anei Anei, another returnee, who had never been in Aweil in his life, doesn’t know any relative in the area but he has to struggle to locate a place to call home.

“I was born in Muoclet in Kordofan and then moved to Medani. This is my coming here with my wife and two children. We do not know our relatives. It will be a struggle to get them as we are told to look for those who are related to us,” Anei stressed.

This stranded returnee pleads to the government to accommodate them for at least six months as they trace for their relatives or find means of survival.

“If our government considers us to settle for only six months, then we will be able to decide how to make a living,” Anei appeals.

Meanwhile, NBGs Governor Tong Akeen welcomed the Returnees saying that “this state is very peaceful. So feel free and safe,”

Two weeks ago, the government announced that over 16,000 returnees who are from Aweil have been registered in Upper Nile state, a border area with Sudan.

In that week, the first plane carrying 50 Returnees landed in Aweil. However, the government assured the returnees that they will be integrated or taken to their respective counties for resettlement.

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