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High Commissioner's visit to Sudan, Chad, Kenya

Briefing notes

High Commissioner's visit to Sudan, Chad, Kenya

19 August 2005

On Monday, the High Commissioner, António Guterres, is scheduled to set off on a ten-day mission to visit UNHCR operations in the Darfur region of Sudan, Chad, Southern Sudan and Kenya. The situation in Sudan, both in Darfur and in the South, are of key importance to UNHCR with some 200,000 refugees from Darfur in 12 camps in neighbouring eastern Chad and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people within Darfur with serious protection needs.

The High Commissioner will also assess the situation in southern Sudan where UNHCR is planning to help return home some 500,000 refugees who fled the 21-year long civil war and are now mainly in Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are also an estimated 4.6 million people who fled the civil war in the south and are displaced within Sudan. Some have already been making their way back home after the signing of the peace accords in January. In June, on his first mission as High Commissioner, Mr Guterres visited Uganda where he met southern Sudanese refugees living in settlements and talked to them about their hopes and fears of going back home.

Mr Guterres visit starts in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Tuesday where he is expected to meet senior government officials, UN agencies, donors and UNHCR partners and staff. The following day he is scheduled to travel to Darfur where he will visit camps for the displaced and meet African Union, and local government officials. In eastern Chad it is planned he will visit two of twelve UNHCR-run refugee camps, and meet senior government leaders before heading to southern Sudan to see for himself preparations for the return of refugees including rehabilitation of schools, hospitals and demining of roads. In Kenya, he is scheduled to visit Kakuma refugee camp which hosts some 60,000 refugees from southern Sudan, as well as meet senior government officials. He will return to Geneva on Thursday 1 September.

As background, the main asylum countries for refugees from south Sudan are Uganda (204,400), Ethiopia (90,500), Democratic Republic of the Congo (69,400), Kenya (65,000), Central African Republic (36,000), Egypt (30,324), and Eritrea (714).