More than 4,000 Chadian refugees who lived in two camps in Sudan's war-torn region of Darfur have voluntarily returned to their country since December, the UN refugee agency said Monday.
About 4,000 Chadians remain in the state of Central Darfur, most of them having arrived in the area to flee hostilities in Chad between the government and opposition in 2006 and 2007.
Since December 2017, the UN refugee agency UNHCR has run a programme to assist the return of Chadian refugees to their country.
On Friday, more than 500 Chadians living in Camp Mukjar in Central Darfur were provided with return packages to Chad, raising the total to over 4,000.
With Chadian refugees having left Mukjar, which was set up in 2006, UNHCR now plans to close the facility.
"UNHCR and Commissioner of Refugees are now making the final arrangements to hand over the land and camp facilities to local authorities and the host community," UNHCR said in a statement.
The voluntary return of Chadian refugees began under a tripartite agreement signed in May 2017 by the governments of Sudan, Chad and the UNHCR as conditions in Chad improved, UNHCR said.
"We are very pleased to be able to work with the governments on both sides of the border to help refugees to return home in dignity and safety," said its chief in Sudan, Noriko Yoshida.
About 4,000 Chadian refugees remain in camp Um Shalaya, UN officials say, adding that every four days a convoy leaves carrying refugees who voluntarily decide to return home.