Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43
Lamwo Leaders Back Gov't on Restricting Open Door Refugee Policy :: Uganda Radionetwork
Breaking

Lamwo Leaders Back Gov't on Restricting Open Door Refugee Policy

Under the open door Policy, the government has been accepting refugees from any Part of the world and once an individual is granted a refugee status, he or she is free to move, work and even open a business in line with the 2006 Refugee Act.
A South Sudanese Refugees who was arested in December 2018 dressed in South Sudan millitary Uniform with an AK47 assault riffle.

Audio 3


Deprecated: trim(): Passing null to parameter #1 ($string) of type string is deprecated in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 663
Leaders in the Northern Uganda District of Lamwo have welcomed government’s decision of scraping the open-door refugee policy in the country.   

Under the open-door policy, the government has been accepting refugees from any part of the world and once an individual is granted a refugee status, he or she is free to move, work and even open a business in line with the 2006 Refugee Act.  

Last week, the Disaster Preparedness, Refugees and Relief Minister Engineer Hillary Onek announced the end of open-door refugee policy, citing the country has been infiltrated by wrong elements through the channel of open-door policy.    

Onek says asylum seekers will now be processed for refugees' status on a case by case basis as opposed to the previous mass admissions into the various settlements.

John Komakech Ogwok, the Lamwo LCV Chairperson in an interview says that that the open-door policy for refugees had a lot of weaknesses and scrapping it away is a good move for the country.

Lamwo is among the districts in Northern Uganda hosting currently over 50,000 South Sudanese Refugees in the three settlement centers of Palabek Kal, Palabek Ogili and Palabek Gem.    

// Cue in; “The open door …

Cue out;…from a conflict” // 

He says the county and the host communities had not been properly prepared to absorb the challenges brought by openly accepting refugees from any part of the country.

According to Ogwok, the host communities where refugees are being hosted, the nationals have become second class citizens with much benefits and attention now being given to refugees.

Ogwok says government now have to review its policies in relation to defining who a refugee is adding that the country needs to look at better ways of absorbing the challenges the refugees bring in the country.   

// Cue in; “Uganda Open Door Refugee…

Cue out;…we have problem” //   

He says his district is currently faced with numerous social service challenges among others limited water supply, poor road networks, limited numbers of teachers, crowded health facilities and human resources gaps as a result of high numbers of refugees.  

Charles Obong Okwera, the Madi-Opei Sub-county LC3 Chairperson says scrapping of the open door policy will help to rid of wrong elements who intend to enter the country in disguise of being refugees.

Madi-Opei Sub-county is one of the entry points used by South Sudan Refugees accessing Lamwo District.  

Okwera says cases of guns being recovered in refugee settlement centres are a clear indication that the open door policy was attracting wrong elements. 

Luo

// Cue in; “Cik eni me acel…

Cue out;… me ngo ineno” //

Okwera says government should now put on stringent measures of accepting genuine refugees who have been displaced by conflicts but not anyone who wants to seek for shelter in the country.

Security officials in Lamwo District which borders the volatile South Sudan have in the past raised alarms over suspected wrong elements crossing in the three settlements centres in disguise as refugees.

In December last year, the UPDF soldiers arrested Grace Rom Okeny 23 alias “Wangaras Suspect” in the wilderness of Lagaya village, Palabek Kal Sub County in Lamwo District in possession of an AK47 assault rifle.

The suspect was reportedly registered as refugee in Uganda and had a Ugandan Refugee Identity Card issued by Office of the Prime Minister.

Uganda is the third-largest refugee-hosting country in the world with more than 1.4 million refugees, and the largest percentage being South Sudanese followed by refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo.