Sudan: Sudan, Chad and UNCHR sign tripartite agreement to repatriate refugees

Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Over half a million Sudanese nationals, currently staying as refugees in refugees camps in Chad and along the border areas in eastern Chad, will go home soon, according to a tripartite agreement signed in Khartoum by officials from Sudan, Chad and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

A UN reports, received by PANA in Khartoum, said the agreement also foresees the voluntary repatriation from the Sudan of over 8,500 Chadian refugees who live in central Darfur region, Umshallaya and Mukjir near the borderline with the Central African Republic (CAR).

The tripartite agreement regulates the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of refugees from Chad to the Sudan and from Sudan to Chad.

A joint statement following the agreement stressed that the deal represents “internationally accepted legal standards that govern the voluntary repatriation of refugees and which all the Parties are fully committed to".

The agreement underlined that the return of the refugees is voluntary and in line with international laws and convention.

“The formal act of signing the Agreements is important because it lays out the legal framework which ensures that refugee returns are strictly voluntary in nature.” according to the agreement, signed by Sudan’s state minister for Interior, Babikir Digna, the Chadian Borders and Local government Minister, Boubakar Djibril, and Mr. Noriko Yoshida, for the UNHCR.

However, it cautioned that the signature of the Agreements alone does not mean that the assisted return will begin now, adding that there was still work to be done by the Tripartite Commissions, which will oversee the implementation of the Agreement, in order to ensure that returns occur in conditions of safety and dignity as well as ensuring that such returns are lasting.

The agreement said the three parties noted that to-date, there have been sizeable spontaneous returns of Sudanese refugees from the camps in Chad as well as the firm expressions of the intention to return home on the part of Chadian refugees living in the Sudan.

The agreement said the parties decided to formalize the framework for repatriation which in turn has been informed by the freely expressed wishes of those who have returned, or who have expressed the wish to be assisted to return.

The three parties consented that the security situation in the Darfur region has generally improved for the better in most destinations for the returnees.
-0- PANA MO/VAO 2June2017

02 june 2017 19:33:33

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