Most of the refugees have refused to move to Bubukwanga Transit Camp, about 30 kilometres from Busunga reception centre at the border post, despite facing serious safety and hygiene issues and lack of food.
Bundibugyo district authorities are tracing refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo-DR. Congo entered illegally and went on to mix with the local communities. Bundibugyo is currently home to over 10,000 Congolese refugees fleeing attacks by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces-ADF in the Eastern parts of their home country.
Most of the refugees have refused to move to Bubukwanga Transit Camp, about 30 kilometres from Busunga reception centre at the border post, despite facing serious safety and hygiene issues and lack of food. There are concerns that hundreds of the refugees have settled with relatives without being screened and registered.
Umar Muhanguzi, the Bundibugyo Deputy Resident District Commissioner, says that they have directed village chairpersons to conduct verification of residents and document all refugees within their areas.
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Muhanguzi warns that all refugees must be in a designated place or else they return to their home country. Busunga town council clerk, Jackline Kobusinge, says that the reception center lacks safe water and latrines, which puts the lives of both the refugees and the local population at risk. She has welcomed the decision to transfer all refugees to the transit camp as a measure to mitigate any health risks.
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Hedwig Arinitwe, the acting commandant of Bubukwanga refugee transit center, says that once all refugees are in a designated place, it helps the government and partners to plan for them more efficiently.