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Sudan Tribune

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Nearly 30,000 returnees stranded in Upper Nile, says IOM

October 9, 2013 (JUBA) – Some 30,000 South Sudanese are still stranded in Renk, Upper Nile state with no transport to their destinations, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.

IOM and partners help Jamam camp residents board buses to Kaya (photo credit: IOM)
IOM and partners help Jamam camp residents board buses to Kaya (photo credit: IOM)
The returnees, forced out of Sudan following the South Sudan’s split in July 2011, have since lived in the border region with IOM support.

“That area [Renk] in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State had become a bottleneck for returns from Sudan, as it had been the only accessible crossing point between the two countries,” IOM said in a statement.

The organisation, however, its barge convoy carrying 947 returnees which was stranded in Renk since 2011, departed on 4 October.

“The barge would reach the capital, Juba, in approximately 15 days, where the passengers would be provided with onward transportation overland to their final destinations,” it assured.

Currently, there are reportedly 11,000 returnees in Renk transit sites, with about 6,600 of them awaiting longer term solutions.

All barge passengers, prior to departure, are reportedly screened by IOM medical staff to for fitness to travel, administer vaccinations and are escorted throughout the duration of the journey.

Due to the complex issues of landownership in the capital, Juba returnees are usually expected to travel to their final destinations, with support from IOM and it partners.

Nearly 6,000 returnees, according to IOM, have since the beginning of the year been given transport assistance to reach their final destinations.