JUBA – Government is prepared to receive the 15, 000 South Sudanese who have been stranded in Kosti, in Sudan’s White Nile State.
While briefing journalists about the Council of Ministers meeting of Friday, the minister of Information Benjamin Marial said his colleague the minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Lual Acuil told cabinet that the air lifting of the IDPs from Khartoum to Juba will begin soon.
According to him the returnees will be taken back to Khartoum by buses where they will then be air lifted to Juba.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said today that about 400 people were taken to Khartoum by bus from Kosti today (Saturday) and will be airlifted to Juba on tomorrow (Sunday).
"They're moving in a convoy escorted by local government agencies,” IOM’s Sudan chief Jill Helke confirmed.
Marial said most of the people coming to Juba are from Central and Western Equatoria.
The minister said that minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Agnes Lasuba was preparing the reception areas for the returnees, but he also encouraged people with returning relatives to go and receive them at the airport.
About the 120,000 South Sudanese in Khartoum, Marial said “future arrangements will be made.”
On the issue of the border, the minister said that cabinet had adopted the map of January 1, 1956 and it will include all the indigenous names within South Sudan.
“It will be a detailed map which will show everything in terms of both the borders in what we see as the Republic of South Sudan,” Marial said.
About the immediate closure of 22 private universities and institutions of higher learning as announced by the Minister of Higher Education, Peter Adwok, on Wednesday, Marial urged the public to be patient as cabinet first studies the report of the committee that came up with the recommendation.
Marial said that the council of ministers had passed Advocacy Bill and that on Peace and Reconcilitaion Commission.
The minister said that the Advocacy Bill will “regulate and have laws that will decide on how advocates can function in South Sudan.”
While the Bill on peace and reconciliation commission “will only be called as peace commission but it will also be involved in reconciliatory peaceful discussions and dialogue.”Marial said that President Salva Kiir told cabinet that South Sudan police forces had completed withdrawing from Abyei area on May 11 under the watch of the United Nation’s peace keeping forces and some media personnel.
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Friday, 7 September 2012