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Upper Nile State: 51,000 reportedly return home after force deployment

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, December 14, 2023

Map of Upper Nile State. (Courtesy).

Upper Nile State government spokesperson said an estimated 51,000 returnees have resettled in their homes in several counties – while attributing the influx to a sense of stability resulting from the recent deployment of troops to the state.

Information Minister Luk Sadallah said the government deployed two battalions of the Necessary Unified Force (NUF) to different areas previously plagued by conflicts.

The forces drawn from Central Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal were posted to Tonga, Wijpanyikaang and Pakwaar areas of Panyikaang County.

Others were deployed to Renk and Wadakona as well as to the South Sudan border area of Joda.

Speaking to Eye Radio on Wednesday, Minister Sadallah estimated that the return of 51,000 natives of Tonga to their homes following the deployment of the peace soldiers.

“The returnees have come back home especially in Tonga, there is a huge number of people who returned to Tonga from Lelo due to the new situation of the unified forces deployment,” he said in an interview with Eye Radio from Malakal town.

According to Sadallah, NGOs have arrived especially in the Lelo and Tonga areas which have witnessed a huge influx to provide the locals with humanitarian assistance.

Meanwhile, he commended the cooperation between the commissioners of the Panyikang and Pangak counties for ensuring the safe return of the returnees.

“They are now in Tonga, and some minutes ago, I announced that there have been several humanitarian organizations arriving there. All these times, before the deployment of the necessary unified forces, there was no NGO’s going to Tonga.

The eastern part of the state received an influx of returnees from refugee camps in neighboring Ethiopia, where the United Nations has cut humanitarian aid over looting of its warehouses, added Sadallah.

“There are returnees from the eastern part of the state. Due to the suspension of the humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia, there has been a huge influx of the returnees to the three counties of Nasir, Maiwut and Maban.”

In recent weeks, Upper Nile Governor James Odhok Oyai toured the war-torn counties as a gesture of peace in the area and to build confidence among the locals.



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