Voluntary returnees to be protected
Minister of Interior Michael Chiengjiek Geay addressing people during World Refugee Day celebration at UNHCR Headquarters in Juba on 20th/6/2018 (photo by Kitab)
The Minister of Interior Michael Chiengjiek Geay has assured that the police will provide maximum protection for South Sudanese refugees who were willing to return to the country.
“Voluntary return by the refugees is welcome and those who voluntarily return will be granted maximum protection,” Chiengjiek said.
He was speaking during World Refugee’s Day Celebration at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Juba yesterday.
South Sudan has more than one million people living in various neighboring countries as refugees due to the ongoing conflict.
At the same time the country is hosting more than 300 000 refugees from Sudan, DRC Congo and Central Africa Republic.
The minister said the government was keen to protect the refugees and asylum seekers in the country and he urged them to abide by the rules of the country.
“We grantee all rights to refugees and asylum. We provide them with education, travel certificates to move freely but they should abide by the law of the country,” Chiengjiek added.
The top government officials commended South Sudanese for accepting and living in peace with their brothers and sisters living in the country as refugees.
The minister urged the UNHCR to continue supporting refugees and asylum seekers living in the country.
In his remarks Lt. Gen. Bol John Akot, Commissioner for Refugees Affairs, said the government was committed to protect, empower and provide access to basic services to both refugees and asylum seekers living in South Sudan.
“We shall continue to protect refugees and asylum seekers against any life threatening despite our internal challenges”, Bol pointed out.
Bol added the government would continue to make it possible for refugees and asylums to interact freely with the host communities.
He outlined lack of adequate resources, safe areas for the settlement of refugees and the current delicate political transition period as some of the challenges the government was facing in its efforts to cater for refugees in the country.
According to the South Sudan UNHCR representative Johann Siffointe South Sudan was the fastest growing refugee in the world adding that the country was hosting about 300 000 refugees and asylum seekers.
Ashiraf Ibrahim, the representative of the refugees’ community in South Sudan said he appreciated South Sudanese for allowing them to settle in the country.
He urged authorities to help refugees to build their capacities and have skills and knowledge that would sustain them.
World Refugees Day is an international day celebrated on 20th of June every year. Yesterday marked the sixth anniversary since South Sudan got its independent in 2011.