Posted to the web on June 21, 2012
June 20, 2012 (BOR) - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) organised a celebration
for the recognition of World Refugee Day to mark the 60th anniversary of 1951
convention on refugees.
UNHCR head of Jonglei Office, Maria Ferrante, speaking to the press after the celebration of World Refugee Day in Bor, June 20, 2012
The officer in charge of the of the UNHCR sub-office in Bor, Maria Ferrante,
said that to be a refugee often means loosing everything they have due to
conflict. Wars in Sudan mean that South Sudan is home to over 100,000 refugees
from South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
“Refugees are not victims, they are survivors. They are people who might have
lost everything but not themselves and their dignity”, Ferrante said.
“It is an act of courage to start in another country and not know what will
be of your future”, she added.
Some members of from Alari settlement attended the celebration in Bor where
they explained how they fled the war in which many of their relatives were
Ferrante said refugees are not burden to the host country but can be useful
“They have resources and strength that can be employed and empowered by the
hosting country”, she explained.
Jonglei is one of the states in South Sudan hosting Ethiopian Refugees who
fled their country in 2003 after the war that broke out at Gambella region.
Currently, over 4,000 peoples are said to have been settled in Pochalla
County, at Alari.
Due to insecurity from Ethiopian rebels there, the Jonglei government in
collaboration with the UNCHR are planning to relocate the refugees to a safe
Ferrante said the UNCHR is concerned with refugee security in the region
saying they will find a place to resettle them within Jonglei.
The state governor, Kuol Manyang Juuk asked UN agencies to be involved, not
only for the welfare of the refugees, but also to be involved in processes of
making peace of the country from which the refugees fled from.
“We don’t want these people to spend their lives in the refugee camps. We
want peace loving people and UN agencies to move so that find solutions to the
conflict so the people enjoy peace in their home country”, said Manyang.