South Sudan: Spontaneous Return Of Over 300,000 Refugees Since 2017

"Search for livelihoods opportunities to complement food needs, after the reduction of the food basket in Uganda’s refugee camps, was the major reason for heads of households returning to South Sudan."

The Government’s RRC, UNHCR and partners verified the returns of 25 448 South Sudanese refugees from neighboring countries in July and August 2020. This high figure includes 6 144 refugee returnees who have spontaneously returned in July and August and 19 304 others who came back in the country throughout the year, i.e. since January 2020, and were only verified in their return locations – mostly to Eastern Equatoria State – during these last two months.

This brings the total of South Sudanese refugees who have returned to South Sudan in a self-organized manner since November 2017 up to 326 481 – with 205 795 returning after the signing of the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement and 30 281 since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the region.

As per the returns in July/August 2020 were mainly attributed to family reunion cases, eased of transportation from Khartoum to South Sudan (for the returns to Unity state through Panakuach border crossing point), and relaxation of border restrictions – especially at Tsertenya, Lobone in Eastern equatorial. The majority of spontaneous refugee returnees continued to use informal border crossing points and most of them returned to Bentiu, Mayom, Maiwut, Fashoda, Panyikang and Magwi Counties.

Search for livelihoods opportunities to complement food needs, after the reduction of the food basket in Uganda’s refugee camps, was the major reason for heads of households returning to South Sudan.

Please don’t hesitate to reply to this e-mail, should you need any further clarifications.

Johnson Opoka
UNHCR Representation -Juba, South Sudan.
 

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