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RENK - 6 Mar 2013

South Sudanese returnees stranded in Renk for 1 year call for repatriation

South Sudanese returnees stranded at Renk’s river port in Upper Nile state for up to a year have complained of worsening humanitarian conditions and called for urgent repatriation.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Tuesday, a community leader from Bahr el-Ghazal, Benson Juma, claimed that they are suffering from a lack of food, medicine and shelter as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has halted its repatriation operations, leaving them stranded.

According to Juma, some of the returnees include people who travelled to Renk up to a year ago. Juma put the total number of returnees from greater Bahr el- Ghazal, for which he claimed to assume responsibility, as 1156 people.

Many of the returnees are suffering from disease, the most common being flu, Malaria, and diarrhea.

“Diseases like malaria are getting increasingly difficult. And now we bury two children or a child every day, or one after every two days,” he claimed, before adding “The truth is that there is nothing to eat. And if there was, diseases wouldn’t be found.”

The returnees accused the IOM of failing in their duty to either repatriate those stranded or deliver sufficient services.

“Transportation has stopped completely,” he claimed before calling on the IOM, alongside the government of South Sudan, to transport them home soon.

Radio Tamazuj was not able to reach IOM for comment.