Mission to focus on return and reintegration in southern Sudan

Senior Advocate Andrea Lari and Peacebuilding Associate Erin Weir are conducting a mission to Sudan and Kenya from May 28 to June 20, 2007, with a focus on the needs of Sudanese refugees and internally displaced people returning to their homes in the south.

The Refugees International team will also evaluate the nature and degree of support that the UN Mission to Sudan (UNMIS) has so far provided in terms of civilian protection and logistical support for returns, according to its stated mandate. The team will assess security conditions in areas of return and the availability of basic services for returnees and host communities. The response of the government and international agencies to the early recovery needs of those areas will be also part of the analysis.

Southern Sudan represents one of the greatest current challenges in the world to the local government and humanitarian agencies due to the scale of potential returns (more than four million people have been displaced from the south) and the near-total lack of roads, schools, health clinics, and other basic infrastructure. RI will examine closely whether the current response to the needs of returning Sudanese is commensurate with the challenges that they will face in rebuilding their communities.