South Sudanese Refugees Increase In Numbers In Uganda-Report

The numbers of refugees in Uganda doubled last year mainly due to the South Sudan conflict, according to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
By Lioto Samuel

The report released on Friday indicated that while about 200,000 refugees were registered in 2013, 460,000 were registered in 2014.

The report added that most of these were victims of the South Sudan war between government forces and the SPLA-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar.

The findings were contained in the synthesis of conflict dynamics in refugee settlements in Northern Uganda report, released by the Makerere university department of religion and peace studies on Friday 13th November 2015.

The study was conducted in the refugee settlements in Arua, Adjumani, Kiryadongo districts in camps like Elegu, Nyumanzi, Mungula, Dzaipi, Magburu, Elema, Ibi biaworo, and Rhino camp between August and October 2015.

This influx contributed to a variety of conflicts as per the research which indicates that access to water and firewood were outstanding issues that formed the basis for refugee-host community conflicts.

“We cannot push them [refugees] back when they are in danger despite the conflicts they cause, we cannot do much to control the numbers,” says Mr. Hillary Onek, the Disaster Preparedness Minister in the office of the Prime Minister in Uganda during the release of the findings.

The report called on the government of Uganda and other stakeholders to consider interventions aimed at bringing reconciliation among the warring factions in South Sudan.

The research strongly indicates that some refugees report and register but later on vanish either to Kampala or even back to South Sudan only to resurface on the day of food distribution.

“The Government of Uganda is yet to launch a refugee policy which will be guided by the study to address the findings,” says Mr. Onek.

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