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Chad, Sudan to repatriate 20,000 refugees to Darfur in 2018

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Women from Darfur line up to receive their monthly ration in the Djabal camp, in eastern Chad (WFP Photo)
January 26, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan, Chad and the United Nations have signed an agreement for the repatriation of 20,000 Sudanese refugees from Chad to Darfur region during this year.

The "Operations Plan for the practical implementation of the return movement" was signed on Friday at the end of a two-day meeting in the Chadian capital Ndjamena with the participation of the refugee agency UNHCR, Sudanese and Chadian refugees bodies.

The agreement sets out estimated numbers of refugees who will return during 2018; types and levels of reintegration assistance they will receive; as well as logistical aspects of the repatriation operation.

"Based on Return Intention Surveys, it is estimated that around 20,000 Sudanese refugees will decide to return home this year," said the joint statement issued after the meeting.

"This planning figure may increase, and if it does, all additional refugees expressing the wish to return will be assisted to do so," it further said.

Also, the Operational Plan provides that the repatriation operation will begin by the 1st of March 2018.

Chad hosts over 300,000 Sudanese refugees residing in the eastern region of the neighbouring country not far from the border with Chad.

By the end of October 2017, a delegation comprising 25 Sudanese refugee leaders in Chad visited their home villages in Darfur region to see if the situation is good enough to return permanently after 13 years of exile.

In May 2017, the two countries and the UNHCR signed an agreement to facilitate the voluntary return of refugees in Chad.

(ST)

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