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UN welcomes return of Sudanese refugees from CAR

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December 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday has welcomed the return of Sudanese refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR).

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Sudanese refugees from Darfur wait to be interviewed at a camp in eastern Chad (file photo HCR)

There are about 3,500 Sudanese refugees from Darfur living in the north-east of the CAR since the eruption of an insurgency in the western Sudan region. Nearly 1,500 of them have decided to voluntarily return to Sudan.

“UNHCR welcomes the voluntary return of these refugees from CAR”, said Noriko Yoshida, UNHCR representative in Sudan

“With the governments of Sudan and CAR we are assisting the returnees with transportation and return packages,” she added.

Yoshida further said the return of refugees to South Darfur “is expected to be a lasting solution, as we continue to see security and development improvements across the region”.

According to the UNHCR, the first batch including 45 Sudanese refugees arrived on Tuesday in Nyala, South Darfur capital where they were received by senior government officials and UNHCR staff.

“The returnees will be hosted in a transit centre for up to 3 days in the capital of South Darfur State before proceeding to their village, some 350 kilometres from Nyala,” said the UNHCR in a press release on Tuesday.

The returnees will have access to land and the UNHCR and the Sudanese government would provide return packages “to help the returnees re-establish their homes and livelihoods”.

“UNHCR will also work with government authorities and other partners to enhance service provision in the return area” read the press release.

The Sudanese army has been fighting a group of armed movements in Darfur since 2003. UN agencies estimate that over 300,000 people were killed in the conflict, and over 2.5 million were displaced.

Last June, the UN Security Council decided to downsize the hybrid peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID), admitting the security situation in the region has improved.

(ST)

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