The status of over 700,000 South Sudanese living in Sudan remains unclear as the deadline set by the Sudanese government for those wishing to return to the south approaches.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says the South Sudanese living in the north have up to April 8 to go back home or apply to remain in Sudan.
IOM says the government in Khartoum was yet to indicate what will happen to those people who stay in the north.
Jumbe Omari Jumbe from IOM says the organization has sent a request to the Sudan government appealing for the return deadline to be extended.
“Most of them we call them returnees but some of them are actually not returnees. They were born in north Sudan from parents who came from southern Sudan. Probably if this status will be clear, most of them will want to stay because they are strangers when they go back to south Sudan. The government in the north should actually explain what they mean by regularizing the stay of south Sudanese and then extend the deadline of April.”
IOM says over 120,000 South Sudanese nationals who have already expressed interest to return home are stranded in Khartoum as aid agencies facilitating the relocation have ran out of funding.
This week IOM will assist about 400 South Sudanese nationals to return home from Khartoum.