News, Unity State

Over 1,000 returnees need aid

By Yien Gattour


Nearly 1,580 South Sudanese who have recently arrived from Sudan to Panyinjar County in Unity State are facing a dire shortage of food, clean drinking water, shelter, and medication.

Aliza Nyamal, a women’s representative of the returnees, spoke with No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Sunday.

She highlighted the critical challenges they are facing, stating that they don’t have anything to eat.

“We are facing a problem of food, drinking water, clothes, treatment, and plastic sheets. We have new arrivals with children; some arrived 14 days ago, some 22 days, and some five a month ago, and they are exhausted due to the long distance they traveled from Khartoum to Renk County in Upper Nile State and then to Unity State in Panyinjar County.”

The dire circumstances have forced the returnees to improvise for survival.

“We share what we get together because our situation is the same for all of us, Right now, others live in the church and schools, while men are doing casual work in gardens, cutting grass and firewood, while women are doing nothing in Nyak payam, if there is a big market women can wash clothes for others to get food. We are suffering as I speak nothing women are doing.”

She issued an urgent plea for assistance from humanitarian agencies operating in Panyijiar County.

“We are calling on humanitarian agencies to help us. Our first need is food and water. We don’t have access to treatment, and when someone is sick, we cannot afford SSP 1000 to buy drugs. We don’t have soap, and we are experiencing a flood,” she added.

Additionally, they have not constructed shelters, and lack plastic sheets for protection from rain. Nyamal pointed out that the inhabitants of Panyijiar are also facing severe hardships, sharing the same dire conditions as the returnees.

Another returnee, Peter Gai, acknowledged the government’s role in ensuring their security in Nyak payam but emphasized their pressing need for food and their vulnerability to the rainy season.

He stated, “The government is good. We are protected but we don’t have food, and the rainy season is affecting us. We don’t have plastic sheets. We are getting sick from malaria.”

Meanwhile, Simon Kuol, the relief and rehabilitation commission director in Panyijiar County, acknowledged the high population of returnees 1580 and echoed their calls for humanitarian aid.

He appealed to both international and national humanitarian organizations to intervene, emphasizing the urgent need for plastic sheets, blankets, and food.

Simon underscored the importance of finding accommodation for the returnees and urged the government and organizations to extend their support.

“I concluded several meetings with WFP to support returnees, and they say that there is no finding at this moment.


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