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South Sudanese refugees to be airlifted home


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says that thousands of South Sudanese who have been stranded for months in a camp in Sudan will be airlifted home.

The IOM says that at least 12 000 refugees were stranded in the town Kosti, in the White Nile State, when boat transport south was halted due to cross-border fighting between Khartoum and Juba.

According to the IOM, they will be taken to the Sudanese capital Khartoum by bus, and then flown to the South’s capital Juba.

In addition, the aid group says that Sudan has agreed to drop the demand that they leave by 20 May. The IOM says that the Sudanese government has formally agreed to assist in airlifting the refugees back home.

Khartoum will be providing emergency travel documents and will arrange logistics for the refugees and their possessions.

This group of people are among some estimated 350 000 refugees stranded in Sudan. In the aftermath of South
Sudan occupying the disputed oil rich border town of Heglig last month, the governor of White Nile state declared the South Sudanese a security risk and demanded that they leave by 5 May and then extended it to 20 May.

Since the subsequent withdrawal South Sudanese forces from Heglig, the United Nation Security Council Resolution and Road Map, and the IOM’s departure plan, the governor has now withdrawn his deadline.

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