Khartoum, Sudan (PANA) - Five days into the airlift of stranded South Sudanese from Khartoum to Juba by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a total of 1,890 South Sudanese have arrived in their nation's capital, Juba.
Some 600 more are scheduled to arrive Friday, according to an IOM statement.
It said the airlift, which began with two flights a day, was now up to four flights a day, each carrying about 150 passengers. IOM plans to increase the number of flights to six per day to complete the movement in the next few weeks.
The statement, which was received by PANA in Khartoum, Sudan, said the passengers, many of whom were previously stranded at the Kosti way station, 300kms south of Khartoum for several months, are met by IOM teams at Juba airport.
After being registered, they are transferred to transit facilities.
The first 1,292 returnees to arrive were taken to a UNHCR-managed transit centre in Juba, but the facilities at the center have now reached near full capacity.
Meanwhile, 1,917 returnees from Renk, South Sudan's Upper Nile State, arrived at Juba on 16 May by barge.
The group, which left Renk two weeks ago, included 732 people who had their own means of transport to reach their final destination.
Renk now represents the only viable entry point into South Sudan for returnees travelling overland from Sudan. As a result, large groups of returnees have been stranded there.
Earlier in March, over 1,300 South Sudanese returnees were caught in a cross-fire near the town of Higlig, forcing them to turn back and enter South Sudan through Renk.
IOM transported the group to Malakal by road and then by air to their final destinations.
The UN Security Council of Thursday issued a resolution calling for a peaceful settlement of disputes between the two countries.
-0- PANA MO/SEG 18May2012