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187 Sudanese refugees return to Darfur from Chad: official

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)

June 11, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The humanitarian commission in Darfur said a third batch of Sudanese refugees has arrived in Tina locality in North Darfur State from Chad.

In press statements on Sunday, the deputy commissioner of refugees in Darfur Mugeeb Ulrahman Mohamed Yacoub said 62 families including 187 refugees have arrived in Tina.

He pointed out that two families lagged behind due to health reasons, saying the returnees have been transferred to their original villages in Kutum, Kernoi, Kabkabiya and El-Fasher localities.

Yacoub added each returnee has received $200 whereas the disabled received $250, saying each family received $400 for shelter as well as foodstuff for three months.

The deputy commissioner called for providing farming equipment and seeds for the returnees in order to integrate them in their local communities and promote production.

He also demanded the government to provide further support to resettle the returnees, saying his commission would embark on arrangements to receive the fourth batch of returnees immediately after the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

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.

Also, 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.

However, despite the signing of the agreement, only 53 Sudanese refugees returned to Darfur prompting the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to call for integrating Sudanese refugees in Chad within the local community as a result to their refusal to return to Darfur 15-year after the beginning of the conflict.

UN reports say the security situation in Darfur has largely improved but stress that the lack of infrastructures and services prevent the return of refugees and displaced persons to their areas of origin.

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

(ST)