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13,000 Sudanese refugees return from Ethiopia: governor

Governor of the Blue Nile State Hussein Yassen Hamad said 13,000 out of 55,000 Sudanese refugees have returned to their home areas from Ethiopia.

He told the official news agency SUNA that his government in coordination with the Humanitarian Aid Commission has provided food, clothing and medicine to returnees after they settled in their villages of origin.

Hamad added that a number of rebel fighters have also laid down their arms and returned to the state following the presidential pardon and appeals by the residents.

The Sudanese refugees were being sheltered in camps and among host communities along the Ethiopia-Sudan border since their arrival in 2011.

Blue Nile State and neighbouring South Kordofan state have been the scene of violent conflict between the SPLM-N and the Sudanese army since 2011.

Talks between the two sides for a cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access are stalled since August 2016.

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