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270 Chadian refugees return from Sudan

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Trucks carrying the belongings of Chadian refugees line up as they prepare to leave for Chad 21 December 2017 (UNHCR Sudan Photo)
February 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM) More than 270 Chadian refugees have been repatriated to Medihona area, in eastern Chad from Um Shalya camp in Darfur, said Darfur deputy commissioner for refugees Mujeeb Al-Rahman Mohamed

On 31 May 2017, Sudan, Chad and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) signed two separate tripartite agreements on the voluntary return of Sudanese refugees from Chad and Chadian refugees from Sudan.

The agreements provide that any repatriation should be voluntary and on the basis of well-informed consent.

The Sudanese official pointed out that the commission has completed arrangements to transport the Sudanese and Chadian refugees, saying they set up two centres to receive the refugees in Chad and Sudan.

He told Ashorooq TV on Wednesday that the commission continues to transport the Sudanese refugees from camps in eastern Chad to their original villages in Darfur.

For his part, the director of the UNHCR in West Darfur, Terence Pike, stressed support for the Sudanese and Chadian refugee returnees to ensure their safety and dignity.

On Tuesday, the Darfur commission for refugees said more than 4,000 Chadian refugees in Darfur have so far been repatriated by the end of last year.

On 18 December 2017, the first convoy which had 301 refugees, left Um Shalya camp in Central Darfur State heading to Chad.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

The UNHCR estimates there are 317,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, while Sudan hosts 8,500 Chadian refugees.

On the other hand, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said 113,790 people have returned to Darfur last year, of whom 90 percent were refugee returnees from Chad.

(ST)

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