At the request of President Nimeiry of Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadruddin Aga Khan, is to prolong his emergency relief programme in South Sudan by four months.
At the request of President Nimeiry of Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadruddin Aga Khan, is to prolong his emergency relief programme in South Sudan by four months. His mission was originally for one year. He began his mission after the peace agreement was signed ending 17 years of civil war between the mainly Arab North and the South where the black minority live.
About 75 percent of the 700,000 southerners who fled Sudan have now returned, mostly on foot, from four neighbouring countries; Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Zaire and Uganda.
The mass repatriation from Ethiopia was completed in May and the refugees from the Central African Republic are now home. The High Commissioner and the President of South Sudan's provisional Government, Able Alier, saw the last convoy coming into the border village of Source Yubu. Repatriation from Zaire and Uganda will probably take until the end of October, because of the distance involved and the shortage of petrol for transporting the refugees.
The High Commission for Refugees is now concentrating on moving medical supplies and equipment from Europe to the Sudan. Only 24 hospitals currently care for the 5 million inhabitants. Several countries have sent medical teams into the area, including West Germany and China.
SYNOPSIS: The last convoy of refugees who fled during the civil war in Sudan to the Central African Republic are now home.
They are some of the 700,000 people who are being repatriated with the help of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
The High Commissioner, Sadruddin Aga Khan, and the South Sudanese President, Abel Alier welcomed them.
Food and medical facilities are now priorities for the area. This kitchen, supplied by the Roman Catholic relief charity Caritas, is part of the 20 million dollars aid that has been supplied by the international community.
Aid is being coordinated by the UN High Commission.
The Aga Khan's mission has been extended by four months to ensure the repatriation is completed.
The 5 million people of South Sudan have only 24 hospitals to care for them. Several medical teams from abroad are now supplementing their work, including doctors from West Germany and China.
The mass repatriation from Ethiopia was completed in May, but repatriation from Zaire and Uganda will probably take until October because the scarcity of petrol has limited road convoys. Small numbers of refugees who are sick - mainly lepers - have been airlifted.
The wounds inflicted by 17 years of war are not as easy to heal as an eye disease, but such help as this, including the Chinese technique of acupuncture, make the future look brighter for the black minority of South Sudan.