More than 800 households displaced from Mugali Payam
Ethiopian refugees at the Gorom Refugee Camp near Juba have urged the government of South Sudan and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist the voluntary return of their elderly relatives to Ethiopia.
The appeal was made during a visit to the camp on Friday by South Sudan’s interior minister, the commissioner for refugee issues, and the UNHCR’s deputy country representative.
Ojullu Ochan Ochan, the camp’s head, said that they want the elderly deported to Ethiopia and those who are ready to be naturalized as South Sudanese citizens.
“We’re seeking resettlement for medical and other reasons.” “We’re looking at repatriating the elderly to Ethiopia,” Ochan remarked. “We also requested them to conduct interviews with folks who wish to be incorporated into the system.”
“For us in the ministry of interior, we must make sure that you are in a safe place with good security. We must ensure that UNHCR and other NGOs that are in the camp are supplying you with food, health services, education, and other essential services,” Minister Agook said.
He said it is the right of the refugees, especially the elderly, to be repatriated back home.
“We do not have any objection. We will try to coordinate with relevant authorities such that they go back home safely and meet with their relatives,” he said.
Lt. Gen. Bol John Akot, the commissioner for refugee affairs, said a special police unit will be deployed to provide security for the refugees.
“We have heard the complaints from your chairman and we are going to solve them. Also, the minister has come here to go and prepare a police force to provide the security for the refugees,” he said.
The Anyuak refugees from Ethiopia were relocated from Pochalla to Lologo and Gorom in Juba before South Sudan gained its independence in 2011.
According to the UNHCR, the Gorom Refugee Camp has 200,000 refugees.