This article was last updated on May 26, 2022
Since the internal armed conflict erupted in Juba and quickly spread to other state capitals, late last year, Mingkaman, a payam in Lakes state’s Awerial county has become home to thousands of IDPs who fled the fighting in Bor, Twic East and Duk counties of neighbouring Jonglei state.
The Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) Coordinator in Awerial County, Mr. John Parach says there are 30,000 households and about 100,000 individuals (IDPs) in his area.
The IDPs are however hesitant to return home. “Since our houses are destroyed, the time for planting crops has ended, health facilities there are also destroyed and also security in the area is not yet guaranteed,” said John Mobil, a Health Link South Sudan community mobiliser in Section Seven.
“I don’t think the IDPs here in Mingkaman will go back soon; may be in December, January or February next year; during the dry season when people can construct houses.”
A fellow community mobiliser Pastor Jacob Ayuen says he does not have any plans of leaving Mingkaman. “I will not go back soon. At least here I have sorghum, beans but the lentils and cooking oil are always not enough. I don’t know why. But here in Mingkaman is better than going to Jalle,” said Pastor Ayuen.
According to Parach, some people especially from Bor County are going back but there are more especially from Twic East County still coming to Mingkaman. He said it is the reasonability of politicians to tell people to return home. Most of the people returning to Bor are said to be government officials.
The RRC boss said IDPs in Mingkaman have enough food for now but fears for the worst if WFP fails to preposition enough food before the heavy rains in July and August.
Food distribution in Mingkaman IDP camps is being done by Oxfam. “I am not aware of shortage of cooking oil and lentils. My office has not yet received that but I am sure it will be reflected in the end of month report,” said Ms. Emma Jane Drew, country director of Oxfam South Sudan when asked of reports of shortage of cooking oil and lentils.