Chad, Sudan and UNHCR first ever Tripartite Commission Meeting resolves to resume voluntary return of Sudanese refugees from Chad in November
N’Djamena, 14 September 2018 – The first ever Tripartite Commission Meeting attended by over 20 officials from the Republic of Chad, the Republic of the Sudan, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has today in N’Djamena resolved to continue facilitating the safe and dignified returns of Sudanese refugees in Chad, a durable solution to one of the world’s most significant and protracted refugee situations.
Today’s meeting also marked the formal constitution of the Tripartite Commission created by the Tripartite Agreement which was signed by the three Parties in Khartoum on May 31 2017.
A technical working group was also established to take charge of operations going forward.
Sudanese refugees started arriving and settling in the East of Chad since 2004 when the Darfur crisis broke out. There are currently 336, 058 Sudanese refugees in 12 camps and one site in Chad. UNHCR has since provided assistance and protection for them, in collaboration with Chad’s National Commission for the Reception and Reintegration of Refugees and Returnees (CNARR). But there remains a pressing need for durable solutions, including socioeconomic integration, resettlement in third countries, and voluntary repatriation.
In 2018, UNHCR, Chad, Sudan and their respective government counterparts, as well as other relevant partners have undertaken 3 return convoys, facilitating the voluntary return of 353 Sudanese refugees. "We are at the crossroads and we must not lose sight of the fact that Sudanese refugees have been in asylum in Chad for a long period. In an international context where resources are increasingly scarce, it becomes imperative to focus our efforts on the proactive search for sustainable solutions ", said Mr. Mbili Ambaoumba, UNHCR Representative in Chad.
Among the challenges identified by the members of the Commission is the lack of resources dedicated to voluntary repatriation, and the need for a robust information campaign to make refugees aware of the conditions prevailing in their areas of return, including safety and access to basic services and land. This would help refugees make informed decisions regarding their voluntary return.
Despite these challenges, the Commission is working hard to resume operations in November.
The Sudanese delegation revealed that they have taken measures to improve the security conditions in areas of return, including the training of 1300 police officers to assist the Commission of Refugees (COR) as well as a commission to assist in resolving issues of access to land.
Mr. Hamad Elgizouli Morowa, Commissioner for Refugees in Sudan said: "Thank you to Chad for the hospitality extended to Sudanese refugees, and to the UNHCR for its relentless efforts in providing them with protection and assistance. After more than a decade in exile in Chad, Sudanese can return home with dignity. This meeting is an unequivocal manifestation of our joint commitment to resolve this great challenge that we all face ".
"Chad remains ready to support the process of voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees, which has already had three convoys with increasing numbers. This program remains the best durable solution for refugees”, concluded Mr. Mr. Mahmoud Acyl, the Permanent Secretary of CNARR.
More info on Sudanese and other Refugees in Chad available at: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/country/tcd
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