JUBA, FEBRUARY 27, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – A senior South Sudan government official has claimed that more than 15,000 refugees have recently returned to Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State from neighboring Uganda.
SPLM-IO deputy chairman and first deputy speaker of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) Oyet Nathaniel said the refugees returned to areas of Pajok, Owinykibul, Magwi Yalo, Paluar, and Lobone.
“So far, we have over 15,000 refugees who returned home from Uganda,” Oyet told reporters during a press briefing in his office following his last week constituency visit to Magwi County.
“The refugees returning home in big numbers and they are returning to areas like Pajok, Owinykibul, and Magwi town itself, Yalo, Paluar, and Lobone.”
Oyet disclosed that the returnees are in dire need of services.
“The concern that I got related to this particular issue of return is the lack of basic services for the returnee. The education facility and health facility were affected by the conflict, they were vandalized,” he said.
He attributed the return to relative peace in some parts of the country.
“The relative peace now has attracted the return of IDPs and refugees from neighboring countries, particularly Uganda.”
According to UN agencies, close to a million people are living in the UN camps in the country and about 2.3 million are living as refugees in neighboring countries.
They were displaced when violence ravaged the country following the outbreak of conflict in December 2013 and 2016.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan said over 600,000 refugees have returned to the country since 2018.