17 August 2016

Don’t resist relocation, refugees told



Government has asked South Sudan refugees fleeing unrest in their country to adhere to Ugandan laws and settle in refugee centres allocated to them.
The Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Mr Hilary Onek, said government has a duty to decide where the refugees should reside and that they (refugees) have no choice to reject centres allocated to them.
Mr Onek, who was in Adjumani and Yumbe districts for routine monitoring, was on Monday responding to concerns raised by the Office of the Prime Minister Pakele refugee desk indicating that some refugees had refused to be relocated to Yumbe District and had turned violent to aid workers. He warned Adjumani District leaders against inciting the refugees.
The refugees at Nyumanzi transit centre claimed they fear being relocated to Yumbe District because people there are not friendly, an allegation the district leadership has denied.
Mr Titus Jogo, the Adjumani refugee desk officer, said they have so far moved 8,000 refugees to Bidibidi refugee camp in Yumbe District.
“We shall do our best to convince them to relocate to Yumbe,” he said.
Mr Yasin Taban, the Yumbe District LC5 chairperson, said landlords have already offered more land for hosting the refugees.
“We shall co-exist with our brothers and sisters and there is more land for new arrivals,” Mr Taban said.
More than 180,000 refugees have crossed into Adjumani since the beginning of the unrest in South Sudan in December 2013. While in Yumbe, Mr Onek said the district has vast land to accommodate more refugees.
The officials had earlier stated that they would accommodate 40,000 refugees but the minister said the available land can still accommodate more.
The minister was speaking at a meeting with officials of OPM and the implementing partners at Bidibidi reception centre on Monday.
Mr Solomon Osakan, the refugee desk officer for Arua, said between 800 and 900 refugees are received daily at Bidibidi reception centre and the total number of refugees at the centre stands at 8,887.

Mr Jogo says they have so far moved 8,000 refugees to Bidibidi refugee camp in Yumbe District.



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