Tuesday, January 19, 2016

18,000 Burundi Refugees Flock to Uganda
By Stephen Kafeero

Kampala — The influx of refugees from neighbouring Burundi and South Sudan to Uganda continues to grow despite regional and international efforts to resolve the crises that have ravaged the two countries.

In just two months (November to January 12), Uganda has received 18,807 refugees from Burundi according to figures from the Office of the Prime Minister released by a UN refugee agency, while 172,411 South Sudan nationals are living in Uganda as refugees as of January 12.

"The New Year has witnessed a sharp increase in the number of new arrivals with 5,181 individuals received in the West Nile districts of Adjumani- 3667; Arua- 878 and kiryandongo-636, as of January 12. The arrival trend was about 50 individuals per day in the first three days then peaked on January 7 and 8 with more than 700 arrivals daily," the report notes about South Sudan.

The majority of South Sudan refugees (104,857) were received in Adjumani District while those from Burundi (14,170) were received at Nakivale Refugee Settlement.

In August last year, president Salva Kiir signed a peace deal with rebels led by former vice president Riek Machar but a new spate violence and famine have prompted thousands to flee especially from Western Equatoria to neighbouring states, including Uganda.

The Burundi dialogue, which President Museveni launched on December 28 last year, did not start on January 6, as anticipated. Instead, a consultative meeting about the talks was held with a specific date on when the talks will start yet to be named.

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