Colombia + 2 more

IOM press briefing notes 14 Feb 2003: Sudan, Colombia

News and Press Release
Originally published
Spokesperson: Christopher Lom
SUDAN - Former Ugandan Rebel Fighters Return Home - A group of 31 former members of the Uganda National Rescue Front II (UNRF II), a rebel group formerly loyal to ex-Ugandan president Idi Amin, are scheduled to return home to Kampala with IOM today.

The repatriation follows the signing of a Christmas Eve 2002 peace deal between the Ugandan government and the UNRF II, whose members fled to Southern Sudan following Amin's defeat in 1979.

The returnees will be met by officials from IOM Kampala and the Ugandan government Amnesty Commission, before travelling on to Arua, where they will be handed over to the Amnesty Commission's district resettlement team. In Arua the ex-rebels will be given rehabilitation and reinsertion assistance, before returning to their home communities.

The US-government funded operation follows an IOM Sudan registration exercise that identified 51 former UNRF II rebels in Khartoum and Juba.

Under the programme, IOM, working in close cooperation with the Amnesty Commission, will shortly screen and document some 2,500 former UNRF II rebels, many of whom returned to Uganda spontaneously from bases in Southern Sudan in April. IOM will then conduct socio-economic and demographic surveys to help the Ugandan government to provide targeted reintegration assistance to the returnees.

For more information, please contact Damien Thuriaux at IOM Kampala, Tel. +256.77.709.633.

USA - IOM & PAHO Sign Cooperation Agreement - IOM and the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) will sign a Letter of Understanding outlining a framework for partnership later today to formally strengthen their cooperation to benefit mobile populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.=A0 The agreement follows successful collaboration between the two organizations following Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and ongoing efforts to help internally displaced victims of conflict in Colombia.

The strengthened collaboration will enable both agencies to maximize their assistance to governments and mobile populations in the region, addressing health challenges including access to basic health services, controlling communicable diseases such as TB and HIV/AIDS, and health issues linked to migration, including labor migration and irregular migration.=A0=A0=A0=A0

Areas in which the two organizations will work more closely include:

  • Support to national authorities in providing health assessments of both mobile populations and host communities.

  • Analysis of the health of populations affected by, or at risk from crisis-induced migration.

  • Capacity building of national authorities to assess and respond to health needs.

  • Resource mobilization for health-related issues such as transmissible diseases, access to services, basic housing, water and sanitation needs.
For further information, please contact Dr Akram Eltom at IOM Geneva, Tel. +41.22.717.9293.