Jesuit Entity Warns Rains to Worsen Situation of Returnees at South Sudanese Camp

People fleeing Sudan being transferred from Renk to Malakal, where their families are. Credit: JRS

The expected rainy season in South Sudan’s Upper Nile State is likely to worsen the situation of returnees, who have camped at Renk, one of the entry points for those fleeing violence in Sudan’s capital city, Khartoum, officials the Jesuits Refugee Service (JRS) have said.

In a Tuesday, May 30 report, officials of the international refugee entity of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) that set up “an outreach point” at Renk in the Northeastern part of South Sudan describe the “not easy” situation of some of those escaping the Sudan war that broke out on April 15.

"Being stuck in the limbo of Renk is not easy. People are afraid that the arrival of the rainy season will bring diseases and new hygiene and health challenges," they say, adding that food and water supplies are insufficient at Renk. 

Officials of the Jesuit entity continue, "Overcrowding and limited resources only aggravate an already vulnerable situation, triggering tensions and conflicts among the displaced population itself."

The displaced people "fear new violence and uncertainty about what will happen next," the officials of JRS further say.   


In the May 30 report, JRS officials say hundreds of displaced people arrive in Joda, a town between Sudan and South Sudan, daily; these are being received at a transit centre in Renk, the town next to Joda.

The conflict pitting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary force under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and units of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) that are loyal to the head of Sudan's transitional governing Sovereign Council who led the coup against the transitional government in October 2021, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, has resulted in the displacement of over one million people, Reuters has reported.

In the May 30 report, JRS officials say "many are the families suffering the tragic effects of the war."

They say that some families have lost their homes, their belongings, their dreams, and have nowhere safe to go. 

In the report, Batika, a displaced person at Renk, says the Sudanese war was "too difficult to bear."

More in Africa

Batika told JRS that she and her family had to leave Sudan after one of her close relatives was sexually abused by a man in uniform in the middle of the day.

As part of the efforts to support the victims of war, the Jesuit entity is collaborating with partners to “offer psychological first aid, safe spaces for children to draw and play, as well as basic physiotherapy services and distribution of non-food items for the most vulnerable cases.”

“JRS has been present in South Sudan for years but has never operated in the border town of Renk before. This need arose because of JRS’ mission to accompany the most vulnerable and to intervene where it is most needed,” officials of the Jesuit entity say in the May 30 report.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.