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Refugee Influx Causes Unease in Luweero Town

The refugees are a spillover from the South Sudan crisis that started in December 2013, following a rift between President Salva Kiir, and his deputy Dr Riek Machar. The conflict, which later manifested into the worlds worst humanitarian crisis, has driven more than one million refugees into Uganda.

Audio 5

The unregulated influx of South Sudan refugees in Luweero town has triggered unease among residents and leaders. They say that the influx is exerting pressure on public facilities in their area.

Luweero Town Council Chairperson Paul Mukungu says that hundreds of refugees have secretly entered the town and rented houses without the knowledge of the area leadership.

The refugees are a spillover from the South Sudan crisis that started in December 2013, following a rift between President Salva Kiir, and his deputy Dr Riek Machar. The conflict, which later manifested into the world's worst humanitarian crisis, has driven more than one million refugees into Uganda.

Mukungu says that attempts to have them registered by the local authorities were thwarted by the Office of the Prime Minister. He adds that the refugees are exerting pressure on the already inadequate medical supplies and other public facilities.

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Kisekka Ssaka, the LC I Chairman of Lumu zone in Luweero town says that most of these refugees are living in clusters of between five to ten people all, stuffed in a single room.  He adds that they have petitioned the District Security Committee to review the impact of the influx on the security situation in the area.

Luweero District Chairman Ronald Ndawula says that although Ugandans are hospitable to refugees, there must be clear guidelines on how they travel and settle in areas. Ndawula says that some of them have gone ahead to buy land and constructed houses illegally.

Ndawula wants the Office of Prime Minister to set up a desk at the district headquarters to register each refugee that settles in the town and plan accordingly to avoid future challenges.

 

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Both South Sudanese and Local Leaders couldn't establish the exact number of refugees in the town. Micheal Kudior Ador, the Chairperson of South Sudan Youths Association explained that some are registered as refugees in various camps but they relocated to Luweero in search for better services.

 

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Paul Kangave the Savannah Regional Police Spokesperson says that they have not recorded serious crimes among the South Sudanese community but they were equally concerned and asked local leaders to profile them.

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