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West Darfur State urges support for voluntary return efforts

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Sudanese returnee welcomed by his relatives after his arrival to Tina in North Darfur from refugees camps in Chad on 16 April 2018 (UNHCR Photo)

April 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The government of West Darfur State on Friday has demanded support for voluntary return projects of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) quoted the West Darfur governor Fadl Al-Mula al-Haga as saying the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees is the top priority for his government.

He pointed out that the villages and localities of the voluntary return have started to receive large numbers of returnees following the improvement of the security situation and the success of the disarmament campaign.

The governor added the various political forces in West Darfur could play a significant role in encouraging the voluntary return of IDPs and refugees, vowing to resolve water and electricity problems and combat smuggling of commodities.

For several years, the government sought to dismantle IDPs camps that have been established in areas around the capitals of Darfur’s five states after the eruption of the armed conflict in the region.

Since the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur in July 2011, the government constructed several villages and vowed to support IDPs who return to their home areas.

However, the return of displaced persons and refugees remains the main challenge for the Sudanese government. There are 2.7 million people living in protracted displacement camps since 2003 despite the relative improvement of the security situation.

In a recent report released on 5 February, UNOCHA estimates that are about 386,000 returnees in Sudan conflict areas including Darfur and the Two Areas.

(ST)

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