Sudan

Sudan: Mabaan IDPs return home

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Some 1,200 Mabaan internally displaced persons (IDPs) set off from Ed Damazin, Blue Nile State, to their homes in Upper Nile State in two convoys on 7 and 14 December, the last UN and state joint organized return to that area funded by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Addressing the convoy, state governor Ahmed Kermino said, "I am happy to see that you all are going back to your home, but people of Damazin will miss your presence. Sudan is one country, though, and you are free to choose where to stay."

Priority for departure was given to those who had already sold their animals and assets in anticipation of return. The first convoy on 7 December included 625 people, and the the second on 14 December the remainder.

The move was jointly coordinated by the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission/ Humanitarian Aid Commission (SSRRC/ HAC), UNHCR and UNMIS Return, Reintegration and Recovery office. Returnees were given Mine Risk Education by the UN Mine Action Office through its implementing partner JASMAR two weeks before departure.

Food and water during the journey were funded by the UNHCR and provided by AHA. UNMIS Pakistani Engineering Company repaired a stretch of about 24 kilometres from Kurmuk to Deam Mansour to assist the convoy's movement.

The returnees were provided with three months of food ration, non-food items and seeds and tools by the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the UN Joint Logistics Center and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The AHA provided the returnees with construction and digging tools, donated by the UNHCR. Technical, operational and protection monitoring assistance was provided to ensure that the return and reintegration of IDPs after decades of displacement was safe and sustainable.

To date, 1,623 IDPs from have returned safely from Blue Nile to Upper Nile States, funded by the UNHCR and implemented by its partner AHA.