The government says it is committed to meeting its international obligation to host refugees.
South Sudan is home to more than 272,000 refugees. 90% of the refugee population are Sudanese fleeing fighting and unrest in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.
The bulk of these are settled in camps in Upper Nile and Unity states.
Communities from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic are also registered in camps in Western and Central Equatoria.
Speaking at a colourful celebration to mark World Refugee Day in Juba, the Deputy Minister of Interior, Gabriel Duop Lam said the transitional government of national unity will continue to ensure the protection and safety of refugees.
“The government of national unity will maintain and open door policy when dealing with genuine refugees and asylum seekers,” said Lam. “We have a moral responsibility to ensure that our fellow brothers and sisters are assisted when in need.”
The ceremony included inspiring stories from refugees who have braved the odds to survive and make good of their lives.
Speaking at the same event, the Commissioner for Refugee Affairs Bol John Akot said the government is working with partners to determine the eligibility and issue identification cards to the refugees being hosted in the country.
He said the commission’s work was being constrained by logistical and security challenges.
“We lack resources to manage refugee operations in the field and some camps are located too close to insecure areas bordering with Sudan” he said.
Meanwhile, the UNHCR representative in South Sudan Ahmed Warsame said the number of refugees is increasing day by day.
South Sudan has nearly 1 million of its nationals being hosted in neighbouring Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.
Warsame said the refugee agency is making efforts in collaboration with the government to facilitate the return of the South Sudanese nationals.
“With the peace process now well underway we hope the government and the people of South Sudan will work with us to create an environment and conditions for this population to come back home sooner rather than later,” he said. “These people are needed to take part in nation building efforts in the country.”
The theme of this year’s World Refugee Day commemoration is ‘We stand together #With Refugees.’