Over 5000 Congolese who fled their country following tribal clashes, have been resettled in Kyangwali refugee resettlement camp in Hoima district in Western Uganda.
The tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in areas of Muvaramu, Gobu and Jo in Bunia district in Democratic Republic of Congo sparked off in mid-December last year forcing thousands, mostly women, children and elderly, into Uganda.
The Refugee Desk Officer in the Office of Prime Minister for Albertine Region, Emmanuel Turyagyenda, said refugees started fleeing in hundreds on December 19th through Lake Albert to Kondo and Sebigoro landing sites in Kabwoya Sub County in Hoima district.
“On the first day, we received over 200 and the number kept increasing. They were screened and taken to Kywangwali refugee camp. The number of people coming has, however, reduced because it seems the situation in DRC is getting back to normal. ”, Mr. Turyagyenda told Community Green radio at their Hoima regional office.
He said that with the help of United Nations High Commission for refugees (UNHCR), the refugees were provided with emergence first aid, shelter, food, clothes and care.
“The children were quickly immunized and women provided with pads and other basic requirements since they are vulnerable”, Mr. Turyagyenda explained.
Opio Vincent, the representative for Kabwoya Sub County in the Hoima District Council said called upon Ugandans to welcome the refugees with a humanitarian heart and report them to authorities as soon as they arrive.
Uganda has over 1.2 million refugees from DRC, Somalia, Burundi and South Sudan among others.
According to Turyagyenda, Kyangwali camp has over 400,000 refugees. He says Uganda has an open policy of receiving refugees. He says this is however increasingly exerting pressure on land which might be a challenge to the country in future.
“We shall end up being overburdened in terms of resources because of an open policy of receiving refugees. The policy says the refugees are supposed to be given land to cultivate and settle and then after 3 years they get deleted from the list of those being given food at the camp. When land is finished, I foresee a situation where there shall be a crisis because of the influx.”
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