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1.5 million people internally displaced in S. Sudan: report

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September 25, 2019 (JUBA) - At least 1,465,542 individuals are internally displaced in South Sudan, a survey conducted by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows.

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A view of the Protection of Civilians (POC) site near Bentiu, in Unity State, South Sudan (Photo UN/JC McIlwaine)

The baseline survey, it noted, was reset from 1,829,223 individuals to 1,465,542 due to the culmination of an 18-month-long review and rationalization exercise between IDP datasets maintained by IOM.

“For the past 18 months, OCHA has been working closely with IOM DTM to thoroughly update South Sudan’s baseline data on IDPs,” said Steve O’Malley, Head of the South Sudan Office for OCHA.

“Now a new baseline has been set, and OCHA and IOM DTM will maintain a unified IDP baseline for South Sudan, which will be regularly updated,” he added.

The IOM chief of mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy said the IOM DTM mobility tracking exercise published its first round of data in March 2018, at the time covering 230 locations across 23 counties.

“Coverage has steadily expanded and the latest exercise, DTM Round 6, covers 2,312 locations across all 78 counties of South Sudan. The findings are due to be published in September 2019,” he said.

According to the survey, the large-scale reduction of more than 360,000 individuals is caused by updating and verifying displacement data through revisiting locations, obtaining new population estimates and reviewing all data for potential duplications.

The new baseline does not reportedly reflect the actual change in IDP numbers between July and August, but rather the cumulative effect of the data review.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to update the IDP data. The ability to understand the context and measure displacement is crucial to serving people who are impacted by the crisis,” said Alain Noudéhou, the Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan.

South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.

In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.

(ST)

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