January 27, 2021 (JUBA) – At least 357,450 South Sudanese refugees have returned home from countries within the region since November 2017, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said.
- South Sudanese refugees in Gambela, Ethiopia (Photo: South Sudan Consul, Gambela)
In a monthly update for December 2020, UNHCR and South Sudan’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) noted that some 236,764 refugees out of the 357,450 refugees returned following the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in 2018.
Majority of returnees, it said, were from neighbouring Sudan and Ethiopia.
According to the report, the refugees lauded the improvement in security following the signing of a peace deal that ended the country’s civil war.
The refugees also cited incidences of extortion, arrest and harassment by authorities at Nadapal and Nimule border points with Kenya and Uganda as reasons for their return.
More than 8 million people in South Sudan will need humanitarian assistance this year alone, the UN warned.
The needy, who include 310,000 refugees and asylum seekers, reportedly present an increase from the 7.5 million people who were in need last year.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has a population of about 12 million people.