Uganda: UNHCR Operational Update, June 2018

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 30 Jun 2018

During the month of June 2018, 8,729 persons from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi and other countries, arrived in Uganda—the majority from DRC. The humanitarian situation remains unpredictable in South Sudan, DRC and Burundi.

Refugees from South Sudan report fleeing primarily out of fear of being killed by fighters from either side of the conflict inside the country, while those from DRC report inter-ethnic clashes and fears related to the upcoming elections.

Burundians indicate several reasons for leaving their country, related to security concerns and fears around the referendum in Burundi.

Operational Highlights:

A peace agreement was signed in Khartoum, on 27 June, between the government of South Sudan and the opposition leader Riek Machar, which includes a permanent ceasefire, building a national army, improvement of infrastructure and security of the oil fields. The ceasefire is however being threatened by reports of renewed armed hostilities between the two groups, with each reportedly accusing the other of violating the agreement.

UNHCR and partners commemorated World Refugee Day (WRD) in all refugee hosting locations in Uganda. The national celebrations were held in Nakivale, on 20 June, as the settlement was also celebrating 60 years of hosting refugees in Uganda.
The occasion was presided over by the Minister for Disaster Preparedness, Hon.
Hillary Onek. During the occasion, UNHCR handed over 02 vehicles to Isingiro and Kyegegwa Districts to support the capacity of refugee hosting districts as part of CRRF. WRD events in all locations attracted a wide array of representation of government, including district officials and LCs, UN agencies, foreign missions, who joined refugees in the celebrations.

On 17 June a quarrel between refugees in Tika Zone, Rhino camp escalated into an ethnic fight between refugees of Dinka and Nuer communities, claiming the lives of four refugees. The incident caused displacement of families from the village to nearby location. Following the incident and after the fruitless reconciliatory effort by police,
OPM, UNHCR and partners, it was agreed to separate the two communities. 3,390 Nuer refugees were relocated to Omugo zone while Dinka refugees were moved back to Tika village. Following the incident, the UNHCR Representative in Uganda has called on partners to prioritize labour-intensive initiatives to create employment for youth in refugee settlements and adjacent host communities. He characterized failure to attend to the needs of refugee youth as a time bomb, noting that recourse to anti-social behaviour is in large measure the product of lack of opportunities to engage in productive activities.