South Sudan

Protection Assessment on IDPS from Juba - Bentiu, December 2016



Since December 2016, reports started being received of an influx of civilians from Juba arriving in Bentiu, landing in Rubkona and Guit counties. IDPs identified as residing previously in Mangaten area and the Protection of Civilians (POC) sites in Juba were witnessed arriving through commercial cargo flights initiated by the Government of South Sudan, the majority of them women and children. Reports indicate that similar flights have also been leaving from Juba to Jonglei and Upper Nile.

According to information provided by RRC, a total of 1,348 individuals have arrived in 11 flights which landed in different areas (Rubkona, Kuergeng and Nimni airstrips). However, there is estimation that the numbers might be higher than that. Some of the people arriving on these flights are currently residing in Rubkona and Bentiu Towns and a number of them in Bentiu POC. It is unclear how many people have moved on to their their places of origin, especially those from Mayom and Guit counties, creating a challenge to calculate their exact number.

During a Multi-Cluster special meeting that took place on the 21st of December in Bentiu, a need was identified to verify whether these HHs and individuals, originally from Rubkona, Guit and Mayom counties, have relocated on a voluntary basis, understand what motivated them to move, and what their plans are before conducting registration. There is an assumption that some of these arrivals are relatives of government officials.

The Protection Cluster in Bentiu has been asked to monitor and collect information in order to better understand the new arrivals profile, intentions and immediate protection concerns and needs, in order to update humanitarian agencies, determine possible interventions and decide on a way forward.

As suggested in the Interim Operational Guidance Note on Returns and Relocations in South Sudan initiated by the National Protection Cluster, the protection assessment was to be done in low profile, while identifying vulnerable cases and providing individual assistance as deemed appropriate based on the identified needs, and gaining a general understanding of the overall humanitarian status of the people who have arrived. As mentioned in the note, this assessment and any subsequent response should be conducted in such a way as to avoid raising expectations among the broader community, and to avoid creating incentives for the government to facilitate additional movements before the broader solutions strategy is developed.