As displaced people return to Kodok in Upper Nile, need for assistance increases
As a tangible indicator of relative calm in the area, a large number of civilians have decided to leave camps in neighbouring Sudan and elsewhere to return to Kodok town in the Upper Nile region. The need for humanitarian assistance is increasing.
“I have come back with my three children from Sudan because I realized that my town was calm and secure, plus I noticed the presence of UNMISS troops patrolling here, which gave me confidence to return,” said Theresa Thabo Ajang, who is enthusiastic about the resettlement plans put in place by the local Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.
“I settled now through the help of authorities. Now I start my farming process and I call for all my people to come back in order for us to shape our country,” she added.
Theresa spoke when the United Nations Mission in South Sudan paid a visit to Kodok to assess the process of reintegration of the approximately 9,000 people who have already returned to Kodok, while others have moved on from there to nearby villages. Another 2,000 displaced persons are estimated to still be on their way back to the area.
“Resettling so many people puts a big weight on the government budget in terms of feeding them and offering them basic services such as clean drinking water. We call on UNMISS and humanitarian partners to assist us,” said Kimo Olay Kak, a Relief and Rehabilitation Commission official present during the visit by the UN peacekeepers.
About 50 youth, women, religious and community leaders, returnees and representatives of local authorities participated in a workshop where the challenges of resettlement and reintegration were discussed.
The UN peacekeeping mission has recently established a base in Kodok to offer protection for returning civilians.