South Sudan Promises Conducive Conditions For Returnees

Deng Dau Deng, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs speaks at workshop in Juba on July 27, 2021 (Photo: Awan Achiek)

By Awan Achiek

The South Sudan government has reiteratedcommitment to creating conducive conditions for voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons seeking refuge in the neighboring countries.

Deng Dau Deng, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs said the government was ready to set a safe and secure environment necessary for returnof the displaced persons and refugees as part of the 2018 peace deal.

“The government will create a necessary condition and environment for safe return of IDPs and refugees through full implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan,” he said during his remark at the national validation workshop on refuges and IDPs in Juba on Tuesday.

According to the UN Refugee Agency or UNHCR, there are about 4.5 million displaced folks from South Sudan seeking refuge in Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia.

But the wishes of the South Sudanese refugees to return to their areas are stipulated in chapter three of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan.

“This chapter confirms the rights of the refugees and IDPs to return in safety and dignity but to ensure safety and dignified return of our refugees and IDPs; it is incumbent on us as the government,” said the deputy ForeignAffairs minister.

Arafat Jamal, Representative of the UN Refugee Agency, stressed a need for humanitarian actors to find solutions to people returning home.

“Let us increase our investment in these people particularly through livelihood programs and skills training that would enable them to rebuild their communities upon their returns,” he said.

“I also urge the line ministries to direct investment in high return areas as this will support sustainability of the solution and cement peace vision in the Revitalized peace agreement,” Jamal added.

The UN Children’s official said continuous distribution of food relief to people in need would not help them flourish instead there should be sustainability modalities put in place.

“The constant and ending distribution of food relief is not a solution. It safe lives but it does not help people to thrive, let’s see how we can pave it toward development,” he concluded.

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