In late September/early October, Refugees International traveled to South Sudan to speak to – and thus better understand the problems of – displaced persons and those who are intervening to assist them. RI met with people displaced form Abyei Area and with returnees – southerners who had been displaced for years in northern Sudan and were only now returning to newly independent South Sudan. The returnees spent many months, waiting first in Khartoum and other northern cities before being forced to wait for onward transportation in Kosti or Renk, way stations on the River Nile on the way south. RI also visited Agok, in the disputed Abyei Area. Tens of thousands of people had fled Abyei in May due to the incursion of Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) which led to the burning and looting of much of Abyei Town. In October, RI witnessed that many of the Abyei displaced were going to Agok as a step in the direction of a full return to areas farther inside Abyei Area, still controlled by SAF despite the presence of a UN peacekeeping force.
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Juba por: A Nile River barge stacked with the belongings of several “returnees” – southerners who have moved from Sudan to South Sudan, because they have been forced to do so by Sudanese legislation depriving them of rights to employment and education.
Refugees International (RI) advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises.
We are an independent organization, and do not accept any government or UN funding.