Southern Sudan crisis evacuation situation updates on 26th December 2013 - Sit Rep 1.
Since December 14th 2013, a sporadic gunfire and skirmishes broke out in the capital city of Juba. Subsequently the country was destabilized due to the escalating violence between the government forces and the armed groups.
This led to the displacement of tens of thousands of the country residents who were forced to abandon their homes and sort refuge at the UN bases throughout the country.
Due to this international crisis the government of Kenya was not an exemption, to respond in evacuating over 1600 Kenyan citizens from Juba. An immediate evacuation of the Kenyan Citizens began by the government declaration through the Kenya Defense Force (KDF) on 22nd December 2013. Since then KDF has been carrying out the exercise by taking food to Juba, and in return brings back some of the stranded Kenyans. Due to the increased number of the population at the Juba airport, the government of Kenya contracted Kenya Airways to evacuate the many Kenyans who were displaced at Juba. On 26th December 2013 Kenya Airways, began a massive evacuation of hundreds of Kenyans from Juba airport a total of 232 passengers were flown back, and 85 passengers by KDF, in total 317 Kenyans arrived today. More evacuations are ongoing as Kenya Airways planned to carry out four flights tomorrow on 27th December 2013.
Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) in collaboration responded to the operation through provision of tracing services in family links restoration, Mobile phone services for an on sight calling centre, psychosocial support services, and refreshments from the Boma Hotel. The family link restoration is mainly to help the evacuatees to trace their loved ones through the mobile service calling centres so that they may be able to re unite with their families successfully. 12 mobile phones were donated by Safaricom together with airtime worth Ksh. 10,000 for this activity to KRCS.
An information centre was set up at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where all the evacuatees after their arrival were able to register their names and nationalities.
The KRCS response team comprised of 58 personnel of whom 28 were volunteers, 18 KRCS staffs, 12 staffs from BOMA, 4 vehicles and 1 EMS ambulance.
COORDINATION AND PARTNERSHIP
KRCS in collaboration with the Kenya Airways, government ministries including Ministry of Devolution,
Ministry of Immigration, and Special Programmes are responding to the operation. Other partners are Safaricom and Airtel mobile phone service providers, facilitating in communication services. The Kenya airways today offered two flights each 116 passenger capacity evacuated the affected victims back into the country; Safaricom donated 12 phones with airtime worth Ksh 10000 each to help in making calls to the relatives of the returnees as they arrive.
In addition Airtel mobile service providers are providing phone cards and free airtime. The Ministry of Devolution has donated some refreshments and snacks accompanied with a transport allowance of Ksh. 2000 to the returnees for their movement to their homes.
Furthermore, the KRCS is continuously updating the public on the situation as it develops through its Social media channels that include the website, twitter and Facebook.
GAPS / CHALLENGES
Ways of handling the affected victims for those who will not get relatives or a place to settle immediately.