today's Pick
Plans to repatriate Congolese refugees
Publish Date: Apr 28, 2014
Plans to repatriate Congolese refugees
State minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Musa Ecweru (R) exchanging business cards with the Congolese Internal Affairs Minister, Richard Muyez Mangenz (L). PHOTO: Peter Busomoke
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Raymond Baguma

Ugandan and DR Congo government officials are meeting in Kampala to draw up a plan to enable over 180,000 Congolese refugees return home following the return of peace.


The fourth tripartite meeting which also includes UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) opened Monday at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.

It is attended by Richard Magenze, the DR Congo minister of internal security, decentralization and customary affairs with governors of the strife-strike provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, and Orientale.

Magenze said that with support of the UN mission in DR Congo, the Congolese army has usefully defeated the negative forces in the eastern DRC provinces, and restored peace which is favorable for people to return.

Musa Ecweru, the state minister for relief, disaster preparedness and refugees said the initial plan to repatriate Congolese nationals in 2011 experienced a setback following a resurgence of fighting by the M23 rebel group.

“Since 2011, we have been receiving a mass influx of refugees at different times,” said Ecweru. He said that today, a total of 184,837 Congolese refugees live in Uganda, of whom 35,554 live in Kampala.

Sakura Atsumi, the acting UNHCR representative in Uganda said Congolese comprise majority of refugees in Uganda, and are settled mainly in Rwamwanja, Kyangwali, Nakivale and Kyaka II settlements.

Minister Ecweru said that there has been spontaneous return to DRC of refugees who have been leaving the settlement camps. However, one such spontaneous return turned tragic when over 100 refugees drowned in Lake Albert last month.

“Refugees will be provided with necessary information and sensitized about return areas and programmes so that they can make informed decisions about repatriation in safety and dignity. However in the interim, government of Uganda and UNHCR will work out modalities to facilitate spontaneous returns pending organized voluntary repatriation,” said Ecweru.

Stefano Severe, the UNHCR representative in DR Congo in a statement said displaced civilians who had sought refuge elsewhere are spontaneously returning to their homes in the areas of Beni, Rutshuru in North Kivu.

Severe however said that in spite of restoration of peace in some parts of eastern DRC, several armed groups remain active and the situation is still volatile and unfavorable for voluntary repatriation. 
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
South Sudan women suggest sex strike to end war
A group of South Sudanese women peace activists has suggested that men in the civil war-torn country be denied sex...
US healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday said it would spend up to $200 million to speed up and expand its Ebola vaccine program, with testing slated to begin in January....
Tanzania will hold a referendum in April 2015 on a new constitution, the government has announced, a move rejected by the opposition, who said Thursday that the drafting process ignored it....
Constitutional Court rules on terror suspects’ trial
The Constitutional Court has ruled that the July 2010 Kampala twin bombing suspects are detained in Uganda legally and must stand trial in the High Court....
No fresh cases of Ebola-like Marburg virus - health
Ugandan health officials said Tuesday that all suspected cases of the Ebola-like Marburg virus had tested negative and those held in isolation released....
‘I watched a crocodile eat my body parts’
IT took Godfrey Mugobi six months of treatment at Jinja Hospital and his wife could not tolerate it and she deserted him...
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter