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RENK - 8 Mar 2013

South Sudan to transport 20,000 stranded returnees from Renk

The South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) have committed to transporting 20,000 South Sudanese returnees currently stranded in Renk, Upper Nile State.

The Deputy Commissioner of SSRRC, Javana Luka Joseph, made the statement during her visit to Renk County in order to visit some of the returnees who tried to make their way to their home areas following South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.  Some of those stranded have been living in poor conditions in Renk for up to a year.

“The commission delegation’s visit to Upper Nile state was to meet the Upper Nile state authorities as well as to inspect the stranded returnees in preparation for their transportation to their home areas in various states of South Sudan,” explained Javana.

She added that the problems facing the process of voluntary return include high taxes imposed on transport companies by regional authorities and strongly condemned the taxationof returnees’ luggage.

The Deputy Commissioner asked, “These stranded returnees are South Sudanese people so, why do taxation authorities of South Sudan put obstacles in the process of their repatriation?”

Javana described an initiative organised by the Central Equatoria State government to contribute to the process by confirming that they will transport returnees from the greater Equatoria region who have listed Juba as their destination.

Many of the returnees have been living in very poor conditions in Renk with reports of sickness as well as a lack of shelter or food.