Uganda: Emergency Update on the South Sudan Refugee Situation - Inter-Agency Weekly | 18th – 24th January 2017
Daily arrival figures from July 2016 are based on manual emergency registration or head-counts/wrist-banding. Confirmed figures will be available as the new arrivals undergo biometric registration.
Figures prior to July are from the Government’s Refugee Information Management System (RIMS).
12,889 refugees were received in Uganda from South Sudan between the 18th and 24th of January. The arrival rate has continued to increase, with a daily average of 1,841 new arrivals, compared to 1,689 in the previous week.
The relocation of refugees to Palorinya Settlement continued, with 56,947 refugees being received in the settlementsince 9 th December 2016. To expedite the relocation of refugees from Palorinya Reception Centre to their allocated plots, a biometric registration centre has been established in Palorinya Zone II.
Refugees continue to cite violence and indiscriminate killing of civilians, nightly attacks on homes, sexual violence, looting of livestock and and property, unsubstantiated accusations of collaboration with opposition groups, fear of arrest and torture and lack of food and other basic necessities as reasons for leaving South Sudan.
In Bidibidi, dedicated focal points were appointed for all five zones of the settlement in order to strengthen coordination and response at zonal level. Women’s Groups, Refugee Welfare Councils and refugee community members were engaged to identify and address needs and concerns, promote peaceful co-existence and share information on activities and services.
A high level mission from Denmark led by the Danish State Secretary for Development Policy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Martin Bille Hermann, the Ambassador of Denmark to Uganda Mogens Pedersen visited the Moyo district refugee operation on 17 January. The mission visted Palorinya base camp, where they observed registration and distribution activities and interacted with refugees. After being briefed on the refugee response and challenges faced by the operation, the State Secretary reiterated the Danish government’s commitment to supporting refugees in Uganda.
From the 18th to 21st of January, the UNHCR Representative to Uganda Bornwell Kantande carried out a mission to Arua, Yumbe, Moyo and Adjumani with the objective of observing and reviewing the refugee response in northern Uganda.
UPDATE ON SITUATION
The majority of refugees arriving in Uganda originate from the Equatoria Region of South Sudan, with many from Yei, Morobo, Lainya, Kajo-Keji and the adjacent areas. Refugees report that due to insecurity they are unable to use the main roads to the border and are forced to walk up to several days in the bush to reach Uganda, usually with few belongings and limited access to food, water and other needs. Many refugees are also arriving via the DR Congo, spending several days trekking through the dense forests of the DRC to avoid attacks by armed groups.
Refugees report that while traveling through the bush in South Sudan to reach Uganda, armed groups prevent them from harvesting food left in abandoned gardens and farms. They also allege that armed forces are burning the bush, including farms and gardens, in order to clear the ground of rival groups.
As the security situation in South Sudan remains unpredictable, the number of new arrivals has continued to increase. A total of 1,207 new arrival South Sudanese Refugees were reported at Elegu Collection Point in Adjumani district from 16-22 January, up from 927 refugees the previous week. Similarly, 3,256 refugees were reported in Moyo district, a decrease from 3,556 new arrivals in the previous week. 300 refugees were reported in Lamwo district, a significant upsurge from 73 new arrivals in the previous week.
New arrivals are being relocated to Palorinya in Moyo district. Upon arrival at Palorinya Reception Centre, refugees have access to basic services: protection, registration, shelter, food, water, sanitation, healthcare and basic relief items. From the reception centre, refugees are relocated to Palorinya Settlement, where each family is provided with a designated plot of land measuring 30m x 30m and relief items for shelter construction. Refugees also receive a hot meal and a 30-day food ration for the family.