About 5,248 people return to Magwi County

By Okan Thomas Onyango

At least 5,248 South Sudanese households have returned to Magwi, Eastern Equatoria State from the neighbouring Uganda and Kenya despite the latest closure of the border due to COVID-19, an official said.

 In an exclusive interview with Juba Monitor, the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission County Coordinator for Magwi County, Salva Ben Okeny said that they have received a great number of returnees from the neighbouring Uganda and some parts of Kenya starting from September 2017 up to date.

“We have enumerators at the entry points, they go and interact with them and ask them why they are coming back without any official repatriation from UNHCR. Most of them say that they are coming back because there is already peace in the county while some returned because life had become very difficult for them in the camps since there is a great deduction in the food ratio that they normally receive,” Ben said.

Ben also added that the returnees were well received by the citizens in the country but urged those who were planning to return to hold-on till the issue of COVID-19 spread reduces.

“If the issue of the Coronavirus reduces, the National Government may start the repatriation process. Even if there will be no official repatriation process, those who are planning to return should wait until when the issue of the pandemic reduces then they can return home,” he added.

“People in the county are really happy of the returnees as they welcomed them with joy and willing to resettle together with them to cop up with live,” he concluded.

Magwi, is a county in the Eastern Equatoria State with a population of about 187,000 people equivalent to 38,831 households.

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