Home | News    Wednesday 14 March 2012

Juba parliament approves 50 million SSDG to transport returnees from Khartoum

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March 13, 2012 (JUBA) - The Juba-based National Legislatively Assembly on Tuesday unanimously approved 50 million SSDG (US$18.7 million) needed by the country’s humanitarian affairs and disaster management to facilitate the return of over 700,000 South Sudanese who remain in the north Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

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A South Sudanese man carrying his belongings onto a train organised by IOM at Khartoum, March 1, 2012 (Getty)

Speaking at the National Assembly on Tuesday, Joseph Lual Acuil, minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, said the need to return South Sudanese in the neighbouring Sudan needs to be addressed as an “urgent matter” because the 8 April deadline given by the Sudanese government was “fast approaching” and that some of the citizens are already living in the “open space” in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan.

“At the moment there are 120,000 people in open spaces in Khartoum. 15,000 others are undergoing similar situation in Kosti. They are living in open spaces where they are vulnerable and exposed to danger. About 5,000 from 21,000 who are living in the open spaces in Egypt equally require immediate attention to be airlifted”, Acuil told the house on Tuesday.

The minister explained since taking over the office in September, his ministry has been able to facilitate the return of 118 vulnerable groups by air to Juba and about 160 people to Greater Bahr el Ghazal, but that the land and river transport is experiencing difficulties with the Sudanese authorities.

Since independence was declared in 2011, there has been a influx of South Sudanese people from what is now north Sudan. Although a deal was signed on citizenship rights by both countries on Tuesday, the future for South Sudanese citizens remaining in north Sudan is unknown.

In September 20,000 South Sudanese returnees were stranded in Kosti when Khartoum impounded the barges scheduled to repatriate them. It was reported that Khartoum feared the barges would be used to the military advantage of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North; a rebel movement operating in Blue Nile and South Kordofan state.

Acuil said that Khartoum’s Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) had prohibited the movement of returnees by road between Meram, Abyei, Bentiu and other areas in Upper Nile state; slowing the repatriation. He said Khartoum had denied South Sudanese returnees the opportunity afforded to them by South Sudan’s partners; to be airlifted.

He said the north Sudanese government asked the Government of South Sudan to move 10,000 internally displaced persons from South Sudan currently in Kosti out of their territory before the end of March through two corridors: by train from Babanusa through Meram to Aweil and Wau; and through Bentiu and Renk, specifically for the group returning to Upper Nile, Equatoria and western parts of the Nile.

Acuil said the commissioners of Renk and Melut had not agreed to the proposal – an accusation Deng Ayuel, a member of parliament representing Renk in the National Assembly denies.

“There are already four camps hosting 37,000 people who have been there since May 2011. These people were supposed to be repatriated to their areas of origin two weeks after their arrival from Kosti but this was not done. So commissioners did not refuse as the reported by the minister. They are asking the ministry to reduce the number that is already there so that the area can receive the others,” Ayuel explained.

Due to the urgency of the situation Acuil said he had requested the funding “to move our beloved brothers and sisters exposed to danger in Sudan back home.”

Daniel Awet Akot, who chaired the session, also joined the members in approving assistance for South Sudanese wanting to return from Egypt.

(ST)

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  • 14 March 2012 07:46, by Mi diit

    This business of transporting the South Sudanese IDPs from North Sudan is ever unsuccessful and a source of corruption. People spend money on private issues in the name of the ever unending transportation of the IDPs. It is a waste of resources unless new ways are devised to ensure that they will really be transported. Numbers are also exaggerated in order to get millions more.

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    • 14 March 2012 18:02, by panom lualbil

      MI DIIT, when you say thanks to SPLA, then do the same to DINKA. But when you say thanks to arabs, do not say anything to either SPLA/ DINKA because you’re lost upto that point. Anyway it’s me and you on this web to assure you. In your last notes, did you say ’chickens were killed in back yard’ during 1991? It’s the same acts that caused 500 DOGS slain by murle last week in akobo fool!

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      • 14 March 2012 19:27, by panom lualbil

        You could remember when somebody cursed ’RIEK MACHAR’ it’s not because he’s nuer but to shape our ppl behaviors.That’s why sudantribute didnt ban me here, because the know I’m talking against ROTTEN ONION world wide called RIEK MACHAR in SS. Citizens are ashame of listening to living dead either NOR do PRESIDENT give a damn about death of dogs in akobo. So what you gonna you do now sucker?

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  • 14 March 2012 08:31, by viper

    This 5o million SSP, not SSDG is suppose to be given to I.O.M or O.I.M not to the looters of the SPLM because these looters will soon divert them to their private accounts

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  • 14 March 2012 10:24, by Longa

    This Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management is even a disaster by itself. Alot of financial resources had been approved for this same thing of transporting returnees from North Sudan but it ends up always to INGOs or IOM doing the job with their money. I think there is something fishy going on in this Ministry. I do not even see the importance of this ministry.

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  • 14 March 2012 10:47, by Tamongali

    To All, It seems all behind the news, not 700000 will now be force to south sudan, The negotiators in Ethiopia agree for the four freedoms.The money approved by Parliament is going to be used wrongly under the name of the returnees .please watch out for looters and corrupts.

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  • 14 March 2012 13:15, by Nimber

    There was thesame issue of repatriation in 2008 but that was failed due to corruption from those who were selcted to repatriate the returnee. If this one planned agian, it will not succed because no body who commit himself rather than taking money for his own benefit.
    Am fearing for 50 million SSDG which will finish on the steet.

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  • 14 March 2012 19:11, by Northern Sudanese

    THIS IS GREAT NEWS........ FINALLY AFTER 8TH OF APRIL I CAN START PARTYING :D.........

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