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Significant number of IDPs in Wau returning to their homes, says UNMISS

Author: Deng Dimo and Garang Abraham | Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019

UNMISS Protection of Civilian site for the IDPs in Juba, South Sudan - File Photo

A good number of Internally Displaced Persons are leaving the Wau Protection of Civilian site to return to their homes, the UN Mission in South Sudan has said.

Thousands of civilians sought refuge at the UN camps across the country when violence broke out in 2013 and 2016.

UNMISS said, as of May 23rd a total of the number of civilians seeking safety in six Protection of Civilians sites is about 178,000 including over 16,000 in the area adjacent to UNMISS in Wau.

It, however, said the change in numbers in some POCs reflects the deactivation exercises undertaken in households where beneficiaries do not show up for three consecutive food distributions.

UNMSS Field Officer in Wau, Sam Mwamure said reports of improved security has encouraged IDPs to leave the POC.

He appealed to the relevant authorities to ensure the returnees are protected to avoid another influx into the UN camps.

“Here at the POC – at some point we had 39,000 IDPs, but by the beginning of March this year, they had reduced to almost 12,000. And to be very clear on this; it is the efforts of all of us to ensure a conducive environment is established.”

But Mr. Mwamure said there have been cases of new arrivals entering the Wau camp as a result of recent clashes between pastoralists and farmers in Kwajina area.

Meanwhile, in Jonglei, the state Minister of Information is calling on people who have occupied houses belonging to the displaced persons to vacate them immediately.

Speaking in Bor town, Atong Kuol said efforts should be exerted now to safeguard the houses of those displaced.

Last week, the internally displaced people said they will not leave UN camps because they do not have homes to return to.

President Salva Kiir had appealed to IDPs to return home saying the security situation has improved.

But the IDPs said they have been in the PoC sites for six years now, and that their houses have been occupied by other people.

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