Khor-gana returnees face dire lack of basic services in their home camps – South Sudan

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MICHAEL WONDI

WESTERN BAHR EL GHAZAL – With a peace accord signed in 2018 and a transitional government of national unity in place, communities in South Sudan who had abandoned their homes and villages to save their lives in past civil wars are slowly starting to come back.

However, many returnees face extreme hardship upon arrival in their place of origin.

The plight of newly returned community members in Khor-gana, Western Bahr El Ghazal, is a case in point.

A visiting patrol from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently met with some of them and listened to their concerns.

” We are suffering. We thought the wars were over and are going back home, but we need the support of the government and the international community because we lost everything in the conflict,” said returnee Fedila Esens.

“Our main concerns are drinking water, housing, food and the education of our children,” she continued.

Fedila’s concerns were echoed by many others like her.

“Our problem now is humanitarian aid,” said Joseph Mario, a youth representative. “There is relative calm here, but although we are not in the midst of conflict, our basic needs are not being met.”

Agriculture, according to Joseph, would help overcome the food problem and called on the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to help them with seeds and tools.

The UNMISS patrol, led by the mission’s Protection, Transition and Reintegration Section, assured the new returnees that they would take their message to humanitarian and government partners.

“Providing services to new returnees is key to ensuring they are able to successfully reintegrate into society and begin to rebuild their lives,” said Henry Charles Sambai, a protection officer, transition and reintegration deployed to the UNMISS field office in Wau.

“We will ensure that the conversations we had today are reported to our partners in the United Nations country team as well as to state and national authorities so that the returnee community here receives relief as soon as possible. .

Representatives of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) were also part of the patrol team which aimed to organize dialogues to promote voluntary returns.


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