First batch of South Sudanese refugees living in Sudan arrives at Juba

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Juba, May 15, 2012

The first batch of 146 South Sudanese refugees who are staying in temporary shelters in from the northern town of Kosti have arrived at the Juba International Airport at about 11:15 South Sudan local time. They are received and welcomed by the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management Joseph Lual Acuil.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Acuil assured that the South Sudan Government is committed at bringing back all the refugees who are living in temporary shelters in Sudan. He reiterated that negotiations are going on with Ministry of Social Welfare in Khartoum so as to bring some of the luggage by barge to Malakal or Renk.

Kosti is the capital city of White and has been the temporary home for over 12,000 South Sudanese refugees. Their transport by barge down the Nile has been frustrated by the decision of Khartoum to halt the barges sail to South Sudan.

Three transit centres for accommodating the refugees who have arrived have been set up in Juba before they can go to their respective states. Separate trucks have been set up for carrying the luggage of the refugees and they are expected to leave Kosti by Monday noon.

In a related development, the Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria Manasseh Lomole called on commissioners of all the ten states to provide plots to the returnees so as to settle on. He also called support them returnees as the reintegrate into the communities.

Earlier in the first week of May 2012, the Sudanese Government extended exodus deadline to 20th May to all South Sudanese temporarily sheltering in Kosti.

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