UNHCR to Resume Repatriation of Sudanese Refugees

1002 Views Kampala, Uganda
More than 100,000 Sudanese refugees are expected to return home from neighboring countries in 2007, the UN refugee agency has announced. In a statement, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the repatriation would depend on an improved security situation, progress in peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan government. Uganda hosts the largest Sudanese refugee population of about 156,000. UNHCR has suspended movements from northern Uganda for several weeks of vaccination against meningitis of potential returnees. The UN agency says it has held a series of cross-border meetings with neighboring countries to firm up repatriation plans for 2007. This included establishing new calendars for resumed operations from areas such as the northeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo and opening new return routes such as the Dimma/Gambella in Ethiopia to Pagak corridor in Upper Nile. The statement said some of the Southern Sudanese refugees would return with transport organized by agency and other partners from refugee camps or settlements. Thousands more are expected to return home using their own means.