13 April 2011 – Aid agencies began distributing food today in Khorfulus Payam (township), Jonglei State, to over 2,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who had fled fighting between militia and government forces in the area over the past two months.
“The numbers of the IDPs which were verified last week were 2,868 individuals, which makes 537 households,” said World Food Programme (WFP) official Chandga Majid. “We are providing 13.5 kilograms for each person.”
The WFP is distributing the one-month rations in conjunction with the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC).
The IDPs originally sought refuge in Fanjak County to escape clashes that had broken out between the forces of Gen. George Athor and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in Khorway Payam, Pigi County. But last week, authorities moved them to Khorfulus, where they have been accommodated in schools.
IDP Deng Ayol described their previous stay in Khorway as perilous. “I am not going back because the area is full of land mines. Unless the landmines are removed I will not go back.”
Khofulus Administrative Director Michael Aban Chan said the displaced were in a critical situation, calling on non-governmental organizations to give them medicine and shelter, as the rainy season was approaching.
“Since the IDPS were brought to Khorfulus they have not been given anything to eat,” Mr. Chan said. “They are many. Their number is above my capacity.”
Khorfulus SSRC representative Peter Matai said more IDPs had arrived three days ago, but their number was yet to be verified. “We are still carrying out the assessment so as to get the actual number.”
Gen. George Athor rebelled against the Government of Southern Sudan when he lost the Jonglei State gubernatorial election in April 2010.