Over 300 returnees in dire need

By Yien Gattour

At least 300 South Sudanese returnees are in dire need of humanitarian aid in Abiemnom County in the Ruweng Administrative Area, weeks after their arrival from Sudan.

Returnees and refugees are seeking shelter in parts of South Sudan due to the ongoing fighting in Sudan. The fighting which started on 15th April, pits the Sudanese army against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF).

Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Sunday, Awein Arop, a representative of the returnees, said their situation is dire.

“People started arriving in May without food or shelter,” she said. “Life is difficult. Imagine the difficult journey all the way home from a war zone only to stay in the open. We are really suffering without food or shelter.”

She added, “We are now without food. There is nothing at all. We are only thankful that we made it home safely. So, we call on the government and aid agencies to put up shelters for us.”

Another returnee, John Wein Goch, also decried the dire humanitarian situation and called for the authorities and the aid agencies to intervene.

The returnees started their journey from Sudan in May to Renk County after Renk to Wau to Abiemnom in the second week of July.

He said that they lost many children during the journey to South Sudan including their property.

“I appealing to UN agencies and National NGOs to support us with food assistance and medical drugs.”

For his part, Mariop Dau, the Abiemnom County commissioner, said they received more than 332 returnees whose conditions are dire because of the lack of basic items.

“When the war started in Sudan, we started receiving returnees. Since they arrived, we have helped settle them, but nothing has been provided to them. We are engaging our partners so that they come to their aid,” he said.

Meanwhile, James Manyjuet, the county Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) coordinator, also pleaded for aid.

“We received a large influx of returnees with 90 households and 332 more returnees in Abiemnom town,” he said.

“These people are miserable, and they need food and shelter. We also need a measles vaccination campaign to rescue the lives of the children.”

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