This article was last updated on May 28, 2022
By Ariik Atekdit
JUBA, 24 February 2016 [Gurtong] – Gurtong visited the airport and found that IDPs in their hundreds have spent weeks at the open air ground waiting for cargo planes to take them to former Upper Nile State through Paloch Airport.
“I have been here for two weeks now with my three kids. We were told that there would be free cargo planes to carry us to our State but it has been in vain. The dates of the trips are not specified, so we have decided to be here until time comes for us to go,” said Julia one of the IDPs.
The IDPs complained that life in Juba has become very expensive as renting houses has become expensive with prices of food commodities in the local markets increasing.
“We hope that there will be no war again in South Sudan and in Upper Nile Region. It is time that President Kiir and Dr Riek Machar keep their words and implement for us the peace deal they have signed. The country is depending on this peace agreement otherwise a lot of suffering is waiting to come because nobody can afford now anything in the markets,” said John a 25 yearold.
With public transport fares in Juba being increased due to the economic crisis in South Sudan women complained that they cannot afford to make to and from trips to the airport.
“Every day we come here thinking that we shall depart. However, we have failed several times and so we ruled out to stay at the airport side. The government told us that it is indecent to keep us at the airport but what shall we do? If they don’t want us here then they must let us go. Who can afford carrying luggage every day?” Achol said.
An official in Eastern Nile State coordination who spoke on anonymity said, “Yes these people will go. There are planes to take them but the office is doing some arrangements. When such arrangements are complete they will go. But it is to be made clear that everyone who wants to go must first register.”
The official said that trips will start this week, adding that, “It is the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs that has contracted planes to transport sorghum from Paloch to Greater Bahr el Ghazal. These planes take up from Juba and we decided that they should be taking back these IDPs so there is no worry.”
When war broke out in Juba in December 2013 it quickly escalated and sprang up in greater Upper Nile Region dispersing the local population to run for safety to UNMISS camps and many more running to either Sudan or Juba.
Of recent, after the two warring parties signed the agreement, some IDPs thought that it would be better for them to return to the States and begin a new life there.