Sudan - Report details post-peace agreement returns to southern Sudan

News and Press Release
Originally published
An estimated 1. 7 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have successfully returned to Southern Sudan since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in January 2005, according to IOM's latest tracking of spontaneous returns report.

The report, which was compiled with the support of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) and in cooperation with the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), OCHA and partner NGOs, is based on data collected by some 350 SSRRC enumerators who have interviewed some 875,000 individuals during their return journey or in areas of returns.

It reveals that 60 per cent of returning families are headed by single women and 59 per cent of all returnees are children and young people aged between 5 and 17. Only 10 per cent of the returnees are aged 60 or more.

Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Southern Kordofan have received the largest numbers of overall returnees with 22 per cent (401,763 persons) and 16 per cent (298,098 persons) respectively, while Eastern Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal States received the lowest number of returnees with 53,395 returnees (3 per cent) and 62,304 returnees (3 per cent) respectively. This information confirms the trends shown by intention surveys on returns that IOM carried out in 2005 and 2006 in Khartoum and elsewhere in North Sudan.

According to the report, 75 per cent of the returnees used buses or trucks to reach their final destination, 17 per cent walked home, 5 per cent travelled by boat while the remaining 3 per cent returned home by air.

"Tracking spontaneous returns, particularly at the village level, provides important information on the reintegration needs of vulnerable individuals and families, such as single female headed households," says Mario Tavolaj, IOM's Chief of Mission in Sudan. "It also provides a system to alert our humanitarian partners on areas that are severely affected by high levels of returns. It also represents an important tool for planning medium to long-term recovery in Southern Sudan."

The March 2005 report of the Sudan Joint Assessment Mission estimated that some 4 million people had been displaced from or within Southern Sudan by 20 years of fighting between the northern and southern regions of Sudan.

This report was funded by the United Nations Common Humanitarian Fund, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the Norwegian government and the World Food Programme.

The report is available online at

For more information, please contact Alghribawy Mayssa at IOM Khartoum, Tel: +249 183 570 801 to 804, Email: