In 2021 tribal conflict erupted in Tambura County resulting in the displacement of 21,800 civilians to five IDP camps within the county (St. Mary, TOB IDP, SSPDF Barracks, Ayat and Ministerial Complex) and 33,000 people to six IDP locations in Ezo county (Nakofo, Napere, Regina Mundi, Nambia, Manzinzi, and IDPs integrated). Currently, there are only two remaining functioning camps in Tambura and six in Ezo hosting 383 IDPs and 26,255 IDPs, respectively.
The Protection Cluster South Sudan deployed a field mission to Yambio, Tambura and Ezo From the 1st to the 16th of March to identify critical protection concerns that affect the IDPs and host communities.
During the mission, it was observed that the vast majority of the 21,800 IDPs that were residing in the Tambura IDP camps have now returned to their place of habitual residence or have relocated to nearby settlements due to the relative peace there, where discouragement of ethnic clashes has been advocated by the local authorities, led by the Tambura Commissioner.
IDPs who are still residing in Ezo and wish to return to Tambura County have stated that lack of transport and support for return has been their biggest barrier, particularly for women, children, the elderly, and those with specific needs.
During the mission, the team also looked at strengthening the protection coordination mechanism in Western Equatoria. This included, supporting the state cluster with the election process for the co-leadership position of the cluster and assessing SSHF funded protection activities in the state. It is worth mentioning that cluster memebers showed interest in further capacity building on 5W reporting and Protection Monitoring System.