KHARTOUM, April 16 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday announced the return of 53 Sudanese refugees after they spent more than 14 years in refugee camps in eastern Chad.
"On April 14, 2018, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Commissioner of Refugees (COR) welcomed the first convoy of 53 Sudanese refugees who have returned to Sudan after more than 14 years in exile in eastern Chad," the UNHCR said in a statement Monday.
"It is very moving to see refugees returning to their home country after many years in exile," Noriko Yoshida, UNHCR representative in Sudan, said in the statement.
She appealed to the international community to assist the efforts of the Sudanese government on the return of Sudanese refugees from Chad.
Meanwhile, Sudan's Commissioner of Refugees, Hamad El-Gizouli, was quoted in the statement as saying that Sudanese government attaches great concern to the voluntary return of refugees as being the best solution for them so that they could begin to rebuild their life as Sudanese citizens.
Thousands of Sudanese refugees fled to Chad after the eruption of the conflict in Darfur during 2003-2004.
Sudan and Chad and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement in May 2017 for the voluntary repatriation of Sudanese refugees from Chad and the Chadian refugees from Sudan.
The UNHCR and the two governments concerned are targeting the repatriation of 20,000 refugees from Chad in 2018.
According to UN statistics, some 300,000 Sudanese refugees currently live in eastern Chad.