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South Sudanese refugees distrust cease-fire--refuse to return home



by Joseph Earnest  January 28, 2014


Newscast Media KHARTOUM—In South Sudan the government and the rebels are accusing each other of having violated the cease-fire. Many displaced persons have little faith in the agreement anyway and are refusing to return home.

The cease-fire in South Sudan is fragile. The government and the rebels have blamed each other for the violations and insist that they now intend to honor the agreement, while the main victims, the refugees, have little hope that there will be peace.

"There is a lot of fear that the fighting may start again," a South Sudanese father tells Deutsche Welle. He and his relatives have just reached a refugee camp in neighboring Uganda. He does not believe that he can return home anytime soon. The government did not want the rebel movement in South Sudan, he said. "And the rebel side also wants power, so they will try by all means to reorganize themselves and try to attack."

Even as the cease-fire agreement was being signed on Thursday January 23, 2014, observers doubted that it would hold. And, indeed, shortly after it took effect, there were new reports of fighting on Friday evening.

So many South Sudanese see their fears being confirmed. They continue to flee and take refuge in other countries, such as Uganda. About 47,000 people have made it to safety there. There are 38,000 of them in the Adjumani district alone, which is located in the north of Uganda and borders on South Sudan. So ahead of Ethiopia and Kenya, Uganda has taken in the most refugees from South Sudan so far – an enormous number of people that is nearly overwhelming the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and non-governmental aid organizations.

The fear of epidemics is also spreading in Uganda. The Dzaipi transit camp, which is a few kilometers from the South Sudanese border and was only intended for 400 people, now shelters 20,000 people. Most of them are hoping for one thing: to get a piece of land in one of three areas which the Ugandan government has designated for South Sudanese refugees staying a longer period of time. Clearly, almost no one here is considering a return to South Sudan.   Add Comments>>


 Source: Deutsche Welle











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