239 Sudanese refugees from Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement in Arua have been repatriated to the Sudan.
The repatriation, which coincided with World Refugee Day on Tuesday, was coordinated by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees which resettled the refugees in Kaya town.
A large crowd of Kaya residents turned up to give the returnees a joyful welcome. However there were some who were skeptical about the repatriation.
James Ade, the Kaya Chief, criticized the UNHCR and the Government of Southern Sudan for what he claimed was the uncoordinated repatriation of the refugees. He cited the case of returnees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who are stranded at Alero Weigh Station in Sudan without food or accommodation.
Ade challenged the Sudanese authorities to explain how they will feed, clothe and provide security for the returnees from Uganda.
//Cue in: iI'm really in dilemma #i
Cue out: i# nothing like food.i//
The Southern Sudan Commissioner of Morobo County, Richard Remo, promised that the Sudanese government would make it a priority not only to cater for the needs of the returnees, but for the needs of Sudanese. He said now that Southern Sudan is at peace the government has adequate resources to provide security for all.
Remo challenged the returnees not to wait for handouts from the government, but to engage in productive activities.
//Cue in: iThere are so many #i
Cue out: i# high in the world.i//
The UNHCR Operations Manager in South Sudan, Bhairaja Panday, said his agency would only provide interim support to the returnees. He explained that as the reintegration process takes root, the UNHCR would relocate to other parts of the world where its humanitarian services are needed.
The UNHCR is giving the returnees aid for three months, after which they are expected to fend for themselves.