Thousands of families who fled their homes in the Western region of South Sudan because of fighting between government and opposition forces remain sheltered in makeshift camps around the town, relying on humanitarian aid to survive.Many look forward to going back home if their safety can be guaranteed.
“The bringing in of the military was mainly to fight the rebellion and of course now the level of rebellion of course has gone down. We have not seen rebel activity in the last three months around Wau so there will be no more need for the military to be intensively deployed around the town because that creates fear amongst civilians,” South Sudanese change maker, John Mabior Malek said.
A new proposed model to help civilians return home seeks to involve UN peacekeepers and humanitarian organisations working together with local authorities, police, and national security to provide needed services.
The UN has already offered to increase its peacekeeping presence through night patrols.
“It actually has to work together hand in hand. There has to be both the level of security so people feel safe to come back and they’ll do that and make their own assessment themselves. It won’t be us assuring them they are safe,“the special representative of the UN Secretary General to South Sudan said.
A reduction in violence in the town recently encouraged almost 6000 to return to their homes. But the U.N. says that sense of security needs to be more firmly established.