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Sudan, UNHCR welcome return of 53 Sudanese refugees from Chad

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Sudanese returnee welcomed by his relatives after his arrival to Tina in North Darfur from refugees camps in Chad on 16 April 2018 (UNHCR Photo)
April 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Sudan’s Commissioner of Refugees Hamad El-Gizouli have welcomed the return of 53 Sudanese refugees from Chad.

“The returnees were warmly received by the Commissioner of Tina locality, the Commissioner of Refugees and UNHCR Representative in Sudan as well as leaders of local administration and community in Tina,” said the UNHCR in a press release on Monday

According to the press release, this return “follows the signing of a tripartite agreement in May 2017 by the governments of Sudan and Chad and UNHCR for the voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Chad”.

“The Sudanese returnees were assisted with a reintegration package and transportation from the reception Centre in Tina to their home villages in North Darfur” read the press release

For his part, El-Gizouli described the return of the refugees as a “historic moment”, saying the Sudanese government is attaching significant importance to the voluntary return of refugees “as being the best solution for them so that they can begin to rebuild their life as Sudanese citizens.”

On the other hand, the UNHCR representative in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida, called on the international community “to assist the efforts being exerted by the Sudanese government for the sustainable and durable return of the Sudanese refugees from Chad”.

On 31 May 2017, Sudan, Chad and the 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 three parties in January 2018 signed an operational plan for the repatriation of 20,000 Sudanese refugees from Chad to Darfur region during this year.

Chad hosts over 300,000 Sudanese refugees residing in the eastern region of the neighbouring country not far from the border with Chad.

At the end of October 2017, a delegation comprising 25 Sudanese refugee leaders in Chad visited their home villages in Darfur region to see if the situation is good enough to return permanently after 13 years of exile.

(ST)

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