In a message to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, South Sudan filed a formal protest over the dignity with which 297 infiltrators to Israel were voluntarily repatriated this week. Israel was asked not to photgraph the return of the infiltrators and to avoid media events related to their return. South Sudan also asked that repatriation not be referred to as a deportation. A South Sudan source said comments by Israeli politicians against the infiltrators caused serious diplomatic damage.
One of those who volunteered to return to South Sudan said it was better to be going home than staying in a place where people said they didn't want him. Another said, despite the hundreds of shekels each person got, "I have nothing in southern Sudan, and I am coming there completely empty-handed. I am afraid that the situation there is still very bad."