SUDAN: More young southerners returning home - report
NAIROBI, 27 October 2008 (IRIN) - More than half of the families returning to Southern Sudan are headed by single women while 59 percent of all returnees are aged 5 to 17, a new report said.
Photo: Derk Segaar/IRIN
|A bus carrying returnees to Kosti Way Station, en route to southern Sudan: Between January and June, monitors at Kosti found that 25 percent of the returnees were aged 1 to 4 years while 34 percent were of school age
"Spontaneous return movements show a tendency for women to return without [the] male head of household or males to leave women with the children in the place of return to either return back to the place of displacement or to a secondary place of displacement," the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a 24 October report.
This situation, the IOM noted, had resulted from lack or limited access to basic services in the villages of final destination, as well as for employment and educational reasons.
"Female headed households represent 60 percent of the total tracked households in Southern Sudan," the IOM tracking of spontaneous returns report noted.
Some 1.7 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to the south since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005.
Between January and June, monitors at Kosti Way Station found that 25 percent of the returnees were aged 1 to 4 years while 34 percent were of school age (5 to 17 years).
"This high percentage of school age children within the returnee population is likely to place great pressure on the educational sector in Southern Sudan," the IOM noted.
The tracking programme gathers detailed information on numbers, demographics (sex, age) and special needs or vulnerabilities of the returnees.
According to the IOM, most returnees went to Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Southern Kordofan - 401,763 and 298,098 persons respectively. The lowest numbers were in Eastern Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal States - 53,395 and 62,304 returnees, respectively.
The main return route, the IOM report noted, was from Northern to Southern Sudan, but South to South movements are also monitored.
"Tracking spontaneous returns, particularly at the village level, provides important information on the reintegration needs of vulnerable individuals and families, such as single female headed households," says Mario Tavolaj, IOM's Chief of Mission in Sudan.
In March 2005, the Sudan Joint Assessment Mission estimated that some 4 million people were displaced from or within Southern Sudan by 20 years of conflict.