Congolese Refugees in Uganda Relocated

The Congolese refugees who fled to Uganda have been relocated. The more than 60,000 refugees have been shifted to Bubukwanga Sub County headquarters, 30 kilometers from Bundibugyo town.

Congolese refugees in Bundibugyo
Congolese refugees in Bundibugyo

Since Thursday when they fled into Uganda through Bundibugyo district, they were camped to at Bubandi, Bulira, Busaru and Kalera.  The transfer is being overseen by the UPDF, police, Uganda Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations.

Richard Nsubuga, the Red Cross Western Region Manager told local media in a telephone interview that the relocation started Saturday morning and is currently ongoing.

Nsubuga says that the refugees are being transferred using vehicles of Bundibugyo district local government, the police, and UPDF and humanitarian organizations.

According to Nsubuga, the relocation to Bubukwanga is because it’s a centralized place, where the refugees can access food and medical attention, unlike in the past days when they were scattered in different locations.

Nusbuga also says that since the refugees have been relocated to one place, it will easy to do a head count of the refugees and know the exact number. Mobile toilets have also been set up.

Jolly Tibamanya, the Bundibugyo district chairperson says that the relocation of the refugees will enable the schools, where the refugees have been camped, to reopen. Pupils of Bubandi and Busaru primary schools were sent home, to give room for the refugees.

Bakari Mugah, the Ruwenzori Region Police Spokesperson, says that a police post has been set up at Bubukwanga to provide security to the refugees.  Bakari says that cases of theft among the Congolese refugees have been reported to the police.

Meanwhile the World Food Programme (WFP) has also distributed 54 metric tons of maize flour to the refugees. The food arrived in Bundibugyo yesterday evening and is being distributed by Bundibugyo district officials and humanitarian workers.

Tents, blankets, plates and cups have been distributed to the refugees.

Meanwhile, the Congolese army has retaken the town of Kamango, which was overrun by rebels on Wednesday night. Lt. Nisiima Rwamijuma, the Ruwenzori region police spokesperson says that the town, 11 kilometers from the DRC-Uganda border, was retaken last night after fierce fighting between the unknown rebel group and Congolese soldiers.

He says that deployment of the army will continue at Busunga border post.

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