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South Sudan repatriation to Jonglei State resumes from Kenya

Briefing notes

South Sudan repatriation to Jonglei State resumes from Kenya

29 January 2008

UNHCR has resumed repatriation from Kenya of Sudanese refugees to Jonglei State in the eastern region of South Sudan. Tribal clashes that erupted at the end of last year forced UNHCR to temporarily suspend our repatriation operation, mainly from Kakuma, in north-west Kenya, to the area. At least 30 people were killed during those clashes - sparked by cattle thefts - and some 100 injured.

As the security situation improved in the past weeks in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, we decided to resume returns by air. New repatriation started again on January 24th and returns will continue at an average rate of four flights per week out of Kakuma on an IOM-chartered plane. n 2007, we assisted 3,000 refugees to go back to Jonglei state.

Kakuma camp currently hosts 46,000 Sudanese refugees who will return to their homes, mainly in Jonglei.

In the coming weeks, organized returns will mostly focus on areas in and around Bor - 200 km north of Juba, South Sudan's capital. The other major return areas for refugees within Jonglei State are Pochalla, Pibor and Akobo, near the Ethiopian border.

One of the main challenges in areas of returns is the limited development of basic infrastructures. In Jonglei state, UNHCR has helped to the drilling of boreholes as well as to the rehabilitation and building of health centres and schools. Since UNHCR's repatriation operation began in December 2005, we have helped more than 80,000 Sudanese refugees go home from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Egypt. An additional 90,500 returned by their own means.