The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is concerned about the situation faced by thousands of South Sudanese people who are stranded at the Kosti way station in Sudan and unable to cross into the south, Eduardo del Buey, a UN spokesman told reporters Tuesday.
"The IOM is very concerned following an announcement by the governor of Sudan's White Nile State that these persons must leave by May 5," said del Buey in response to a reporter's earlier question on the matter.
"These people were dependent on assistance from the international community for food, health care and other essential services, and it was impossible to provide them with transport within this timeframe."
Quoting the IOM, del Buey said that 12,000 - 15,000 South Sudanese, many of whom have been waiting months for transport to their country, are stranded at the Kosti way station, located 200 kilometers south of Khartoum.
"The IOM has urged the government of Sudan to grant more time for the international community to work with federal and state- level authorities to help the South Sudanese in Kosti, who have clearly manifested their wish to leave Sudan, to move to South Sudan in safety and dignity," said del Buey.