The last flight carrying the remaining 14 internally displaced persons from the Melut Protection of Civilians (POC) site left today, marking the closure of this Protection of Civilians site.
A total of 562 women, men and children have been assisted to return or relocate to places of their choice following joint efforts UNHCR and UNMISS have been undertaking since early December 2017.
“It is an important protection achievement as working closely with our partners we could finally find a solution to a protracted displacement that was also in the best interest of the internally displaced women, men and children, UNHCR Representative in South Sudan Johann Siffointe said. “Closure of the Melut camp provides a good example of how concerted efforts as well as inclusion of displaced persons in every step of the process can lead to a highly rewarding outcome.” Over the past three weeks, a UNHCR team has been working with the internally displaced persons at the Melut Protection of Civilians site to fulfill their intentions of leaving the site and returning to their homes or places of their choice within South Sudan.
To facilitate the returns and relocation, UNHCR set up a processing center at the Melut POC where internally displaced persons were issued necessary documentation and counselled so that they are able to decide on the best solutions for their situation.
More than 80% of 562 internally displaced persons opted to relocate or return to areas such as Renk, Ulang, Mading, Udier, Fangak, Wau, Aweil as well as Melut County. The remaining 75 internally displaced persons chose to stay under the protection of UNMISS and relocate to the Malakal POC.
UNHCR provided a relocation grant to all families to ensure they can meet their basic needs upon arrival at a new destination.
All 75 internally displaced persons who were relocated to the Malakal Protection of Civilians site were immediately provided with shelters and included in all services and assistance delivered to other residents in the Malakal POC.
The closure of Melut Protection of Civilians site will provide an opportunity for UNMISS to shift their focus from maintaining security in the camp to increasing patrols in the surrounding areas.
Melut Protection of Civilians site was established in December 2013 in the aftermath of the civil war that broke out in South Sudan. Until today it hosted over 500 internally displaced persons.
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