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ICRC begins cross-border family reunification exercise

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November 13, 2012 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Tuesday embarked on a cross-border re-unification process, transporting seven children from Khartoum to Juba, the South Sudan capital.

The exercise, ICRC said in a statement, will enable children, aged between 8 and 16 years rejoin their families in the new nation after years in a health-care center in the Sudanese capital.

The process, according to the statement extended to Sudan Tribune, begun after families of these children were located with assistance from the South Sudan Red Cross.

“This trip marks the beginning of a new life for these children,” said Baptiste Jacobe De Naurois, an ICRC delegate.

“This is a fresh start for the youngsters, and we wish them all the best of luck,” he added.

While in Juba, the children are reportedly placed under the care of ICRC staff in South Sudan, who helps them re-unite with their families, in addition to providing them with essential household and hygiene items.

“We thank the authorities of both countries for their prompt handling of the required paperwork, which enabled the children to be on their way home quickly,” said Jean-Christophe Sandoz, the head of the ICRC delegation in Sudan.

The children were separated from their families for a long time, and we are glad they can go home now, he added.

Since 1978, the ICRC has been working in Sudan, providing assistance for victims of the armed conflict and other violence. In 2011, the organization opened a delegation in South Sudan when the country gained its independence.

(ST)

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