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Refugees returning to war-torn South Sudan

Caritas Australia says that thousands of refugees are currently returning to the war-torn south of Sudan hoping to restore a way of life that was violently taken away from them.

It expressed concern that the Darfur crisis in the country's west is overshadowing the problems in South Sudan.

According to a statement issued by the agency on Friday, a ceasefire in the South has lead thousands of displaced people to leave their refugee camps and journey back to their home villages. The ceasefire follows decades of war.

However, years of turmoil has destroyed these villages which no longer have the infrastructure or resources to support people. The large influx of returnees is therefore putting pressure on very fragile economies.

Southern Sudan is in need of urgent support so that those returning can begin to rebuild their lives. There is concern, however, that as a result of the emergency in Western Darfur resources which should be going to the South are being reallocated. This is throwing the South into a greater state of crisis.

Caritas Australia has already provided resettlement kits to the Nuba Mountains. One kit contains items such as blankets, soap, a mosquito net, a cooking pot, plastic sheeting and a water bucket. Considering that many refugees are returning without any possessions, these kits will be a source of comfort and hope.

Caritas will be providing further kits in the future and is looking for opportunities to provide further support. The freecall number for donations is 1800 024 413.

Returning to South Sudan (Caritas Australia 8/10/04)

Caritas Australia | Sudan Crisis Appeal | Sudan Crisis Appeal Press Releases (Caritas Australia)
"Darfur is not the only tragedy, all over Sudan the situation is precarious and dangerous, Bishop Gassis Catholic Bishop of El Obeid tells Fides (Fides 28/9/04)
UN Envoy Takes Part in Resumption of Peace Talks for Southern Sudan (UN News Service/ 8/10/04)
Peace talks resume to end Sudan's civil war (Associated Press/Fresno Bee 8/10/04)

Aid workers assist as Taaisha villagers flee violence (CAFOD 7/10/04)
Blair visits Sudan as part of Africa tour (CAFOD 6/10/04)
Renewed Fighting in Darfur Forces People to Flee (Caritas Internationalis 29/9/04)
More diplomatic efforts to solve crisis in Darfur: British Premier in Khartoum, Libyan leader Gheddafi calls regional min-summit (Fides 6/10/04)
Lord Alton reports on genocide in Sudan (Independent Catholic News 6/10/04)
Catholic aid agency appeals to PM over Sudan (Ekklesia 6/10/04)
Coalition urges more generous response to Sudan crisis (CathNews 10/9/04)
Caritas Says More Aid Needed for Sudan (Caritas Internationalis 3/9/04)
Darfur Crisis Calls for More Aid, Says Caritas (Zenit 8/9/04)
Church leaders concerned Sudan will echo Rwandan genocide (Welcom)
Italian Jesuit targets disabled Sudanese in Chad refugee camps (Catholic News Service 9/9/04)

11 Oct 2004