7 October 2011 – After receiving another influx of returnees in Warrap, the state government and an interagency humanitarian team verified and registered 74 people today in the capital Kuajok.
Many of the returnees, who arrived yesterday from Sudan through Wau, Western Bahr El-Ghazal State, had fled to Khartoum during the country's 21-year civil war, according to UNMISS Humanitarian Affairs Officer Ezekial Deng Garang.
"They went there looking for safety because there was no fighting in the city," he said. "After the independence of South Sudan, they started coming back."
When asked why she had come back to Warrap, 50-year-old Abuk, who was heading back to Gogrial town, said life was difficult in Khartoum.
"I lived in very hard conditions, making alcohol for a living and ... my children were beaten because (they were) considered foreigners," said Abuk. "Now I am old and the only thing I want to do is to come back to my home town and stay with my family."
Mr. Garang noted that registration cards were being provided and verification was progressing smoothly, adding that "the returnees will stay with relatives and they are fully aware that land grants will be not given in the town".
Two challenges currently facing Warrap are the almost 33,000 returnees from Khartoum or internally displaced people from Abyei who had arrived in the state since November 2010, according to Benjamin Binda Wol, Warrap State Coordinator for the South Sudan Rehabilitation and Relief Commission.
Many of them came to Kuajok, claimed returnee status and failed to move to their home villages, as they were afraid of losing daily food and land to live on, said Mr. Wol.
"This causes a serious problem for our capital in terms of expenses and the increase of unemployment," he said. "The government is willing to receive the returnees, but with the condition that they have to proceed to their origin county."