News / Africa

    Thousands of South Sudanese Returnees Arrive In Juba

    Lisa Schlein
    GENEVA — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports the last of eight barges transporting more than 2,700 South Sudanese returnees and their luggage will dock at Juba Port on Friday after a three-week journey from Renk in Upper Nile States.  Unfortunately, it says it will not be able to transport thousands of other South Sudanese home because it has run out of money.

    The convoy of three passenger and five luggage barges left Renk in Upper Nile State on August 10.  The heavy rains falling in South Sudan have made road transport impossible.  So sailing down the Nile River has become the only option available for the thousands of people who have been stranded for months in Renk to return home.

    Spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, Jumbe Omari Jumbe, describes the journey as arduous.  He says the 2,700 returnees have disembarked at ports in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Lakes as the convoy made its way to the capital Juba.

    Jumbe says medical staff screened the returnees before they began the journey to make sure they were fit to travel and to try to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.  He says children under the age of five also were vaccinated.

    He says most of the returnees survived the long journey in good condition, but some did not.

    “Sadly, there are many, many returnees who were found with cases of malaria and upon reaching Juba some 24 returnees were hospitalized on arrival in Bor and 17 in Juba.  This is a typical case because most of these returnees suffer from malnutrition, so their immunity is low and they are susceptible to diseases and attacks of malaria, diarrhea and acute respiratory infections,” Jumbe said.  

    South Sudan gained its independence from the north more than one year ago.  Shortly after that, Sudan closed it borders with the South because of escalating military hostilities arising from disputes over territory and oil resources.

    Thousands of South Sudanese who had been living in the Sudanese capital Khartoum decided to return home.  They could only enter South Sudan through the Renk crossing.  And, that is where thousands have remained, unable to continue their journey home because of a lack of money

    The International Organization for Migration runs three transit camp primary health clinics in Renk.  Spokesman Jumbe says health and living conditions in the town are deteriorating.  He says thousands of stranded returnees are becoming increasingly desperate to leave and go home.

    Unfortunately, he says, the outlook is not promising.

    “The final barge will dock today in Juba and if we do not receive new funding, we will have to suspend our operations.  As I said there are still over 15,000 people at Renk waiting for transport to various parts in the Republic of South Sudan,” Jumbe said.  

    Early this year, IOM appealed for nearly $46 million.  It received a bit more than $5 million.  Now that money is gone and so is the possibility of helping thousands of people go home after many years in exile.

    However, Jumbe says IOM will organize road transportation for the returnees who arrived Friday from Juba to their final destinations in the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region.  Since South Sudan became independent in July 2011, the agency has transported more than 63,000 vulnerable returnees home.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora