357,450 S.Sudanese refugees return home in 3 yrs: UNHCR
United Nations, Jan 22 (IANS) The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that 357,450 South Sudanese refugees have returned home from other regional countries since November 2017.
According to the UNHCR and South Sudan’s Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) monthly update for December 2020 issued on Thursday, some 236,764 refugees out of the figure returned following signing of the revitalized peace agreement in October 2018, reports Xinhua news agency.
The report said that the majority (61 per cent) of the spontaneous refugee returnees were from Sudan, while 23 per cent returned from Ethiopia.
The reasons for return and cross-border movements by the refugees according to the report include improved security in South Sudan, inflows and family visits during the festive season to attend traditional ceremonies and festivals.
The report said the refugees have also cited cases of extortion, arrest, and harassment by authorities at Nadapal, Nimule border points with Kenya and Uganda as the reasons for the return to South Sudan.
It further said that the refugees have also expressed fear of the current unrest in Ethiopia and anticipated unrest during and post-elections in Uganda as the reasons for their return.
South Sudan is currently implementing the 2018 revitalised peace deal the former warring parties signed in Ethiopia to end more than six years of conflict, since the outbreak in December 2013.