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YIDA - 27 Mar 2013

Photos: New camp for Nuba Mountains refugees

Nuba community leaders at Yida Camp are deliberating whether to accept humanitarian plans to relocate part of the camp population to Ajwang Atuk, the site of a new camp currently under construction.

The UN Refugee Agency on Wednesday organized a visit for a group of the refugee leaders to the new site located just four kilometres from the Jamjang Payam  headquarters south-east of Yida. There they were able to view ongoing preparations including brush clearance, construction of NGO compounds, latrines, tents to serve as primary school classrooms, food stores, and water points.

Refugee leaders also met members of the host community and received assurances from a representative of the Pariang County Commissioner that the government would provide security in the area.

Members of the delegation were concerned that the site is too close to Shanabla nomads, whom they consider to be a militia supporting the Khartoum government. They were satisfied, however, that the quality of the land around Ajwang is the same as that at Yida.

Ajwang Atuk Camp is expected to be able to host at least 20,000 refugees, about a third of the population of Yida Camp.

In spite of the ongoing preparations there is still strong opposition to the relocation in some quarters. The community leaders have now returned to Yida where they will deliberate further on whether to proceed with the move.

Photos of the new site available here.