Returnees in Pajok appeal for support
By Kidega Livingstone
Returnees in Pajok, Ayaci County of Torit State have appealed for humanitarian support to enable them resettle in their respective areas.
Ms Ayet Vicky who has just returned from Palabek refugee camp in Lamwo District of northern Uganda appealed to the authorities and Humanitarian Agencies to support returnees.
“We have no food, shelter, or medicine. Therefore, we are appealing to Non-Governmental Organizations to give us food. There is no where we can go again. This is our land we have been facing a lot of problems in other people’s country,” Ms. Ayet said.
Returning home has become a new reality in Pajok as more than five hundred households are reported to have returned to settle back in their once deserted villages.
Mr. Nelson Mandela appealed to authorities to bring services nearer and protect them from any imminent risk, in order to enjoy the dividends of the revitalized peace agreement, signed in Addis Ababa last year.
“Let our leaders concentrate on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement so that our people can come back from the refugee camps. They are suffering; they don’t feel free there,” said Nelson Mandela.
Mr. Joseph Obote, a member of the host community, reaffirmed the commitment to live in peace:
“We want to live peacefully with our neighboring communities so that we focus on farming to fill the food gap that was created by the conflict and insecurity in the area,” he said,
Adding, “We also want the authorities to rehabilitate schools and health facilities in order to access these services available here in Pajok.”
Last week the integrated UNMISS patrol visited Pajok and Pogee to assess the security and humanitarian situation of the returnees, and to show the presence of peacekeepers, which is part of the mission’s mandate to protect the civilians.
In December 2018, UNMISS organized a trust and confidence-building dialogue in Pajok between the South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF) and SPLA-IO officials, aimed at bolstering peaceful co-existence and allowing service delivery to the citizens.
The September 2018 peace agreement was received with the hope of ending a five-year conflict to pave the way for voluntary returns of South Sudanese refugees to their homes.
Torit State authorities have since relocated the SSDPF barracks that was established in Pajok to Lobone and Pogee border area to allow the return of refugees to their places.