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
The city that has banned noisy suitcases
Famed for the serene silence of its timeless nooks and crannies, Venice is about to get even quieter ... by banning noisy suitcases on wheels....
President Yoweri Museveni has warned that if corruption in Uganda goes unchecked and unpunished, it would pose a serious threat to the country....
More Ugandan doctors for Ebola fight
Another team of 12 Ugandan medics has arrived in Liberia to boost the emergency response to the Ebola epidemic....
At least 11 people have died and several others have been injured during a stampede at a church service in the Zimbabwean mining town of Kwekwe....
Around the world in 21 pictures
Get in touch with what is going on around the world through the lens of a camera....
Tapeworm lives in man
Scientists in Britain removed and studied a rare tapeworm that lived in a man''s brain for four years, researchers said on Friday....
Should workers be subjected to a 4% Health Insurance Tax??
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter