Sudan Extends Exodus Deadline To 20th May
The authorities in Khartoum have extended the 7 days departure order issued last week by the governor of White Nile Yussuf Al-Shambali to all South Sudanese temporarily sheltering in Kosti the capital of White Nile, by two weeks.
A barge leaves Khartoum carrying South Sudanese returnees [File Photo]
JUBA, 6 May 2012
Governor Al-Shambali had set 5th May as the deadline saying their presence in the area threatens the security and environment of his state.
The decision to extend South Sudanese stay in Kosti was reached in a meeting of Sudan’s Minister for Social Affairs Amira Fadil and the governor Al-Sambali.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN Humanitarian Affairs representatives in Khartoum had in the wake of the seven days given to the big number of over 12,000 South Sudanese called on the government in Khartoum to review the decision by the governor.
While announcing the extension, governor Al-Sambali said the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN humanitarian organisations will be allowed to transport the refugees by road to Renk in Upper Nile state of the Republic of South Sudan.
Sudan that controls most of the barges in Khartoum blocked all barges used by IOM to transport the South Sudanese from Kosti to South Sudan accusing the South Sudan Army (SPLA) of using them for transporting troops and military equipment to its borders with Khartoum, a charge the SPLA has outrightly refuted.
This decision comes at a time when there were ogoing humanitarian concerns in the South about the fate the big number of South Sudanese that would be affected by the order.
Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the minister for Information and Broadcasting and the official spokesman of the government of the Republic of South Sudan told the press early in the week that the government was concerned about the unexpected humanitarian crisis as a result of the governor’s decision.
According to the minister, the refugees’ movement had been restricted and those who would disobey the orders were threatened with arrests.