Holborn (1972) The Repatriation and Resettlement of the Southern Sudanese
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While the world press has focused over the past year on problems surrounding the creation of still another refugee population in Africa - that of Uganda's Asians - far too little attention has been directed to the remarkable though still fragile process of repatriation and resettle-ment of hundreds of thousands of Southern Sudanese. This population of displaced persons includes both refugees who fled to other countries and large numbers of homeless who hid in the bush during the civil war that wracked the Sudan for seventeen years, from 1955 through the first months of 1972. Responding to the initiatives of President Gaafar al-Nimeiry of the Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), under an explicit mandate from the Secretary- General of the United Nations, has been raising funds, organizing activities on behalf of the most pressing needs and working closely with all local interests to meet over-whelming problems.1 While no one can predict with certainty how the program will cope with the continuing stream of former refugees and homeless Southern Sudan-ese, it presently demonstrates a close and creative partnership between the Sudanese government and the United Nations. The resettlement program is located in the Southern Region of the Sudan which occupies about one-third of the total area of the country. This region comprises three provinces - Bahr-AI-Ghazal, Equatorial Nile, and Upper Nile -all of which remain undeveloped, their inhabitants dependent on a subsistence economy and handicapped by an almost total lack of technical knowledge. Recent-ly, the Sudan was included in a list compiled by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) of the twenty-five least developed of the developing countries and was earmarked a country in need of priority assistance.