Uganda: 4,000 Sudanese Refugees Cross to Uganda

About 4,000 South Sudan refugees have crossed into Adjumani District in the last two weeks following continued hunger in Africa's newest nation.

According to reports from officials at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the refugees mostly women, children and the elderly have been entering the district since May 12.

Mr Titus Jogo, the refugee desk officer at OPM in Adjumani, told Saturday Monitor in an interview on Thursday that they had been receiving an average of 250 refugees daily from South Sudan.

He said the refugees were being kept at Dzaipi Reception Centre in Adjumani, before they are taken to the various resettlement camps across the district.

Mr Jogo said the OPM was planning to increase the number of resettlement camps from 16 to 17 to accommodate new influx.

"We expect more South Sudanese to arrive in the district because most of the camps in South Sudan have been decommissioned which means they can no longer depend on free food like they used to," said Mr Jogo. Last week, Ugandan immigration officials at Elegu border point in Atiak Sub-county in Amuru District registered 1,165 South Sudanese who fled hunger at home.

The Aswa regional police spokesperson, Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, confirmed the influx of South Sudanese and called for urgent intervention to improve health facilities at the b order.

"We are requesting for urgent intervention by humanitarian agencies to relocate the refugees to refugee camps," Mr Okema said.

While addressing South Sudan refugees at the Resettlement Camp Cluster A in Mutunda Sub-county in Kiryandongo District early this month, former State minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru told them that government would not force them back despite the formation of a unity government and relative stability back home.

The situation

Start trickling in: Last month, 1,287 South Sudanese households (5,070 refugees) crossed into Adjumani following hunger and fear for renewed fighting after renegade vice president Riek Machar returned to Juba for unity government.

Current number: Statistics from the Prime Minister's Office indicate that more than 130,000 South Sudanese are currently living in 16 refugee camps in Adjumani.

Source: The Monitor.