News from Africa

IOM Aids Somalis Evacuated from South Sudan

Human Rights

Té / 11 January 2014

For the first time in 30 years, the Federal Government of Somalia has started to evacuate its citizens by air from a foreign country’s conflict zone. Close to 400 Somalis are expected to be evacuated from South Sudan at the end of the government-led operation, which is expected to conclude in late January 2014.

GENEVA, Switzerland, January 10, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)

IOM, at the request of the Somali government, is providing accommodation, food and onward transportation for the returnees to reach their final destinations after they arrive from South Sudan aboard government-chartered planes.

The first batch of 100 returnees travelled to Somalia on Saturday 28 December 2013; the second batch of 130 flew home on Tuesday 07 January 2014; and the third batch is expected to return next week.

Many of the evacuees were rescued from Bor, where they were stranded after rebel forces seized the area from government control. Many were working as traders or labourers. Returnees report random gunfire and killings in the city.

IOM Somalia’s Chief of Mission, Ali Abdi, said, “The needs created by the conflict in South Sudan are considerable. IOM is doing everything it can to ensure the dignified and safe movement of returning Somalis who need to get home to their communities.”

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