21 June 2011 – Thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been returning to their homes in Kadugli, after being advised by the Southern Kordofan State government that it was safe to do so.
More than 8,000 displaced persons in the Protection Perimeter adjacent to UNMIS headquarters in Kadugli as well as those who had settled in other sites nearby began heading back to the town yesterday.
"The IDPs said that radio messages from the government had been going out on Saturday, advising the people to return to Kadugli town as the situation is now calm," the UN humanitarian agency team in Kadugli said. "On Monday, the Minister of Health came to the perimeter, addressed the IDPs and emphasized that they could return to their homes."
The IDPs had fled fighting that broke out in Kadugli on 6 June between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA).
The state government provided transport to the town for some IDPs, while the rest went back on their own. Those whose homes were destroyed in the fighting were settled in schools and have been promised compensation to restart their lives.
In a meeting today with UNMIS Regional Coordinator Ravindran Daniel and UNMIS Kadugli Head of Office Mark Rutgers, Southern Kordofan Governor Ahmed Haroun said he wanted the protective perimeter to be completely empty of people by the end of the day on Wednesday.
Only about 100 people remain in the perimeter – all of South Sudanese origin. They were en route to their homes in the south ahead of independence on 9 July when they were caught up in the fighting.
"The government has agreed to facilitate their onward travel to the south and we are currently working on the details of that," UN agencies said. "We have also asked for access for international staff to Kadugli town so that we can follow up on the IDPs who have gone back – to make sure that they did leave voluntarily and also to see what assistance they will require now. We are waiting for the government to grant us that."
According to UNMIS and UN agency national staff that have been able to go back to Kadugli town, the situation is calm.