Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
By Rawan Kara
Even though she has lived in a displacement camp for the past five years with little food and water, 68-year-old Apuk Bak remains selfless. She is a mother, a grandmother and a women’s leader in the South Sudanese refugee community on the outskirts of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
“When I close my eyes to think of a wish, I only dream of serving my community and my family,” Apuk says.
Following South Sudan’s independence in 2011, people of southern Sudanese heritage gained de facto citizenship in their new country. But they automatically lost their rights as Sudanese citizens.
Many, like Apuk, were excited to go to a new nation, but it became a paradise lost. War came to South Sudan in 2013 and the temporary departure sites on the outskirts of Khartoum grew and became informal settlements for refugees.
Now, ten years after South Sudan’s independence, displaced people still live with uncertainty in Sudan. Stripped of citizenship and stigmatised, the people living in the informal settlements have been nearly forgotten amid Sudan’s revolution and economic challenges. A solution for their situation is yet to be brought up by the Transitional Government of Sudan.