South Sudan appeals to refugees to integrate among host communities

JUBA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Thursday appealed to refugees to integrate into host communities as a durable solution to the country's refugee crisis.

Dut Akol Kuol, director general for Protection for Refugee Affairs in the South Sudan Commission for Refugee Affairs, said the East African country is hosting 467,000 refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia, among others, which are difficult for the government to resettle them.

"Chances of going for resettlement may not be enough for all of us, so we better look for other activities, we better look for other durable solutions, you can integrate into our communities, there are communities that do not have problems in their areas," Akol said at the Gorom Refugee settlement on the outskirts of Juba, South Sudan's capital.

He said the government will increase land allocation to the refugees' hosting areas to 50,000 hectares from the current 15,000 hectares for their livelihood activities.

Akol encouraged refugees from Burundi and Ethiopia to voluntarily register to return home as their country is stable.

He said South Sudan is struggling to provide basic services like education to the refugees, noting that the government is working on implementing its pledge in Geneva last year to provide quality education to the refugees.

The conflict in Sudan has triggered widespread displacement, with more than 600,000 people crossing into South Sudan since April 15, 2023, with a further 420,000 returnees and 80,000 refugees expected to arrive this year.

Before the start of the Sudanese conflict, millions of people in South Sudan were facing food insecurity as a result of the nation's economic crisis, hunger and violence.

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