Talks underway to enable the safe return of internally displaced people to their communities in Wau
Medina Daniel and her nine children have been sheltering at the Protection of Civilians site, next to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s base in Wau, for more than a year.
She fled her home in the village of Angisa, about 40 kilometres south-west of the town, last year when fresh conflict erupted in her village and across South Sudan. While she’s grateful for the protection, life is a challenge in the camp with her family of 11 forced to squeeze into the same small shelter.
“My family is not fine to continue living in such cramped situation. If the security improves, I opt for going back to my home since the shelter and the whole of the PoC is too small for the number of people here”, she said.
A consultative meeting was held in Wau between UNMISS, humanitarian agencies, community leaders representing those who are internally displaced, and the Government to find a way to provide a more secure environment so people can start to return to their homes.
All parties acknowledge that they need to create a safe environment out in the community while also ensuring the protection of the 33,000 vulnerable people living in the Wau site continues.
UNMISS Relief, Reintegration and Protection Officer-in-Charge, Sam Muhumure, said all stakeholders were committed to working together to find a way to ensure a safe and sustainable transition back to the community for the internally displaced people.
IDPs and humanitarian partners would like to see an extension of patrols by UNMISS. Humanitarians have also called on local authorities to ensure they can continue to reach areas where civilians are in need of assistance so that they are not forced to travel back to the PoC site for food and other basic services.