Hundreds of Congolese flee tribal clashes into Uganda

Refugees trek into Uganda after instability (FILE PHOTO)

Nebbi – A tribal clash in the Democratic Republic of Congo has displaced hundreds of civilians to seek safety to Uganda.

The refugees are flooding districts of Nebbi and Zombo, where they share common ancestry.

Nebbi Resident District Commissioner, Chairperson, Omara Christopher told Red Pepper digital that the clash ensued between Lendu against Alur and other neighboring tribes.

According to the RDC,the protracted tribal conflict intensified on Friday, last week, forcing over 200 civilians to flee to Uganda, the following day.

“On Friday, a protracted conflict between the Lendu pitting other tribes including the Alur, hiked and I was told that on Saturday, over 200 Congolese fled to Uganda but then they returned to their country. Only sic people have remained in a neighboring villages” the RDC explains to Red Pepper digital in a telephone interview.

The RDC notes that some more of the Congolese could have remained unnoticed in other villages but the district prepares to contain the situation with the intervention of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

“We are not scared because these are people of same tribe and norms but we have notified the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), to engage UNHCR” Mr. Omara discloses.

He explains that the most challenging is not the fear of COVID-19 pandemic but factors associated with population increase.

“We fear cases of food shortage, diseases like Cholera, dysentery that emerge as a result of high population intensity” the RDC expresses.

Mr. Omara says a group of youth had threatened the DRC immigration officers at Goli border point which led to closure of the check pont.

“Trucks no longer enter DRC through Goli since it’s closure following the threats from the youth” he states without clarifying the magnititudes of the threats.

“The DRC immigration officers, in feared for their lives decided closedown the border up to date” RDC stressed

Omara reveals Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) deployment to safeguard the borders.

“There is deployment and all the LC1 Chairpersons at the border are well informed to do their best to alert authorities of any eventuality” says the RDC, who also chairs security committee of the district.

Red Pepper digital could not get more information about the security deployment from Military officers, as referred by the RDC.

However, information from Zombo district indicates that villages bordering Congo are in fear because of high influx of the Congolese running away from the fierce tribal war.

Inside DRC, people are being shot and hacked to death massively by Lendu tribe in Congo.

The victims, mostly the Alur people who were cut off by borderline during colonial time and are now Congolese by citizenship but are related to many in Uganda as they share common ancestral Land.

A source from Zombo district who requested for anonymity, intimates to Red Pepper digital on a social media that area LCs are tasked with making a tough decision to chase their fellow tribe mates including their relatives, forcing their way in Uganda via the porous border routes.

“Some thirty minutes back, the village of Kanyongombe and Ayabu , all in Jangokoro sub county, Zombo district, were already hosting seventy and twenty refugees respectively. All of these have been repatriated back to Congo” the source intimates.

The RDC of Zombo is deported to be monitoring the situation along the stretch of the border and hopefully will do his best as far as border security surveillance is concerned.

‘We have already informed all the LC1s and Security personnel along the border to sensitise the community members to scale up their vigilance in the fight” the sources explains.

Office of Zombo district Health officer (DHO) is expected to engage concerned personnel, to call all members of the Village Health Team at the border to be on the alert and vigilant. They are to report visitors to under to surveillance tests due to COVID-19 pandemic threats.

Efforts by Red Pepper digital to make repeated calls to Zombo RDC about the incident, on a known telephone number, 0772356—- ended fruitless, as the line was not available.

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