The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday it has been providing phone call services in collaboration with the South Sudan Red Cross (SSRC) for the returnees and refugees fleeing Sudan to South Sudan to help them restore and maintain contact with their families.
Pierre Dorbes, the outgoing ICRC head of delegation in South Sudan, said that since mid-April, more than 2,500 phone calls have been facilitated by the ICRC and SSRC teams.
“We are talking about thousands of phone calls that have been provided to the returnees and the refugees. We are talking about thousands of people who live already in refugee camps whom we support in maintaining contact with their families,” Dorbes told Xinhua in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
The two charities are currently searching for more than 6,000 missing persons, while the fate of over 4,700 persons has been clarified since 2011.
Dorbes said that the conflict in Sudan is having a direct impact on the already dire humanitarian situation on South Sudan. Prior to the outbreak of fighting in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum was already hosting nearly 2.2 million displaced people.
“We have more than 140,000 people who arrived in South Sudan from Sudan mostly returnees. It is a big burden for South Sudan, economically it is very complicated and it is also very complicated to relocate the people arriving at the northern border to their places of origin.”
Dorbes said South Sudan is already finding it extremely difficult to absorb all the people arriving at its borders. “South Sudan is deeply impacted not just by violence but also by floods and drought. Everybody is talking about climate change,” he said, noting that the level of communal violence in South Sudan remains relatively high despite a revitalized peace agreement reached in 2018