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Refugees, returnees plead for assistance

By Hou Akot Hou


Hundreds of returnees and refugees who have fled the conflict in Sudan’s Meram region are calling on the authorities to provide urgent humanitarian aid, including food and shelter.

Gar Tut Gar, a representative of the returnees based in Majok-Yithiou municipality along the Sudan border, said in a phone interview on Tuesday that the new arrivals struggle to survive due to a lack of necessities.

“The major challenges we face include a lack of food, shelter, and healthcare. It’s a tough life here, and the children are crying constantly because they have nothing to eat. Though I’m safely back, life is very difficult,” Gar said.

Gar explained that he has started working in the host community’s farms to try and support his family, but the situation remains dire.

He appealed to the authorities to intervene and provide assistance to the returnees and refugees as soon as possible.

In response, Benson Lual Awach, the chairperson of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, acknowledged the severity of the situation.

Awach said that international organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), will be visiting Aweil North and East counties this week to assess the needs of the new arrivals.

“We are aware of their situation, and the international organizations will visit the area. As the government, we will do what is necessary to support them, especially with the governor’s upcoming visit to Aweil,” Awach stated.

The returnees have shared harrowing accounts of the violence they experienced in Meram, including reports of mass killings and the separation of families.

Some families say they do not know the whereabouts of their loved ones.


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