In September 2018, South Sudanese political and armed actors signed a new peace agreement after months of negotiations between parties to the defunct 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) and other groups that had since been created. While hailed by some as a significant step forward, the deal is clearly fragile. Fighting has since continued in parts of the country and some parties have reconsidered their support for the deal.
The recent influx of South Sudanese refugees into Uganda has reignited debate about the country’s refugee policy and, with it, discussions on the extent to which the “Ugandan model” can be implemented in other countries in Africa and around the world. Given the growing numbers of refugees globally, and the momentum surrounding the global compact on refugees and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), these are vital discussions.
For many years, Rwandan refugees in Uganda have faced abuses, including arbitrary detention, forced return to Rwanda and attacks on their physical security, without any form of accountability. However, last Friday, 24 August, former Inspector-General of the Ugandan police, General Kale Kayihura, has been charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping and repatriation of Rwandan refugees, amongst other charges. In October last year, other security officers had already been arrested and indicted under similar charges. Is it finally time for justice?
27 June 2018: Joint statement by 26 international NGOs in Uganda on the need for urgent action to address gaps in funding for the refugee response.
As the world witnesses a drastic increase in the numbers of refugees and forced migrants, governments, humanitarian actors and development partners alike continue to debate the humanitarian, social, economic and security implications of this growth in international displacement.