KOBOKO - Humanitarian aid workers in the region are liasing with koboko district authorities to relocate over seven thousand Congolese refugees who are fleeing insurgency from their country to Rhino Camp refugee settlement in Arua district.
Refugee desk officer in the office of the Prime Minister John Arinaitiwe said humanitarian aid workers like the Red Cross, world vision U.N.H.C.R and world food programme have come on board to arrest the situation.
He adds that they are going to assign responsibilities to each stakeholder to ease the transportation and settlement of the first lot of people in the refugee settlement area in Rhino camp.
Arinaitwe disclosed that the government has secured all the border entry points with the deployment of security agencies to ensure that the new arrivals are protected as they move to the two transit centres in the youth centre in Midia subcounty and Lolo in kuluba subcounty.
"I think we are quite ready because we have U.N.H.C.R and Red Cross on board. Actually what we are doing now is to come up with who does what; we are now trying to identify what are the gaps, what are the needs in terms of health , sanitation , food in terms of security and we are now apportioning responsibilities,” said Arinatiwe.
He notes that when there are emergencies, there need to be clear assignment of duties to avoid duplication of work and that is why they had to get back to the drawing table to clearly spell out the roles of each stakeholder.
Meanwhile the branch manager Uganda Red Cross Society Arua, Yona Ukoku, disclosed that most of the refugeese have left the basic items in their country of origin because of the threat possed by the militia.
He also said there are some children who fled without their parents and are planning to reunite them with their parents or create a foster family that will be getting support from the humanitarian agencies to sustain them.
However the Uganda People’s Defence Forces 4th division spokesperson, Lt Isaac Oware, has dismissed allegations of rebel activities at the neighbouring border of the Democratic Republic of Congo that has culminated to the influx of Congolese refugees in the region.
Thousands of Congolese nationals started crossing to Uganda over the weekend over claims of being tortured by armed militia.
In a telephone interview with the northern region army spokesperson, Lt Isaac Oware, he said the situation is calm and Uganda security forces are on ground to monitor all the events unfolding by the day.
“If at all there is anything, it is the Congolese authorities to come and pronounce it themselves because it is in their territory but not on our territory; ours is secure and we are maintaining it,” said Lt Oware.
He added that the only negative issue is the influx of refugees in the Ugandan territory but the authorities are going to ensure their safety is guaranteed.
Oware appealed for calm as the security forces continue to monitor the situation and wait for a formal communication from the Congolese authorities about the allegations.