22nd May 2024
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Over 1,000 IDPs voluntarily return home in WBGs

Authors: Deng Dimo | Michael Daniel | Published: Saturday, January 6, 2024

Map of Western Bahr El Ghazal State. | Photo: Wikipedia.

More than 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons who were sheltering at a camp in Western Bahr el Ghazal State have voluntarily decided to return to their homes following a calm security situation in their areas.

On Wednesday, the UN agencies along with the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) witness a high number of people registering for voluntarily returning homes.

Masan Biira protection of civilian sites was established by the UN agencies in 2016 following the outbreak of violence in Wau town which forced thousands of people to flee.

The camp has hosted 11,000 people since its establishment by then and following the gradual stability, most of them had left the camp and now 3,000 are still camping within the site.

Yusuf Salah is the Greater Bahr el Ghazal regional head officer of UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Speaking during the launching of the voluntary return of the IDPs, he welcomed the voluntary resettlement, adding that UN agencies will continue to support the returnees who are returning to their home with necessary assistance.

“As we speak today, we have around 3,000 IDPs still in the camp and out of these, 1,500 have expressed their volunteer to return to their original places IDPs as you witnessed, they are receiving transportation and they are also receiving refund packages,” the humanitarian official said.

“These are supported by IOM. We have agreed as partners to follow up on the concerns raised by IDPs and address if there are any gaps identified if they return to their areas.”

Hai Masan is one of the displacement camps established by the UN Mission in the country following the second outbreak of civil war that spilled to the state in 2016.

The camp was hosting 11, 000 people, but the situation continually improving following the signing of the peace agreement in 2018, and most of IDPs started voluntarily returning to their original places.

Salah described the move as a durable solution to those who were sheltering in the camps.

On his part, the state chairperson of the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission Barhsam Musa Ayaga welcomed the move taken by the IDPs saying the government will continue to provide security safety to the returnees in their areas.

“Today is a great day for me and it gives me an impression of the way our people accepted to back to their original areas, as RRC chairperson, I appreciate this work done through the NGOs.”

“The security mechanism is already in the places where they are going, our people are vigilant, and their safety is what the government is working for.”

Some of the returnees who received the cash transport expressed their happiness and called on NGOs to continue supporting them while they reach their homes.

Grace Michael Magot, one of the Masana camp has decided to return to her place in the Nazareth area after 7 years. She thanks IOM for supporting us with transport cash.

“66,000 SSP is for transport while 148,000 SSP is for starting up your welfare in the place you are going to stay and am calling on NGOs not to forget us because we are going to start a new life,” she said.

“The situation outside is still bad concerning economic I was forced out from my home by war but now there is nothing, the security situation is good in the area, and this is why I decided to return home so that my children can go to school.”





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