17 April 2017

East Africa: 3,500 South Sudan Refugees Relocated

Photo: Julius Ocungi/Daily Monitor
The queue. Some of the South Sudan refugees children line up for porridge at Rhino Camp Settlement in Arua District.

Lamwo — At least 3,500 South Sudan refugees who had camped at Ngomoromo border in Lokung Sub-county in Lamwo District have been moved to settlement camps in order to access basic supplies by government and donors.

The refugees had pitched camp at Ngomoromo border point after fleeing South Sudan following renewed fighting between the SPLA and militias in Imatong state.

At the moment, the district has a total of 4,500 South Sudan refugees.

Lamwo District local government last month offered land for the establishment of three settlement centres in Palabek Ogiri, Palabek gem and Palabek Kal.

The three settlement centres are expected to host more than 7,000 refugees.

In an interview with Daily Monitor at the weekend, the Resident District Commissioner of Lamwo, Mr Jonathan Rutabingwa, said the ongoing relocation exercise kicked off last Thursday and will last one week.

"We have resettled them at Palabek ogiri since the basics are in place. We have more than 4,000 refugees in Lamwo District as we talk now and more are still coming in, " he said.

"Development partners are working around the clock to see that basics are put in place in the other settlement camp so that there is no fleeing South Sudan national who camps at the border anymore," he added.

The district chairperson, Mr John Ogwok Komakech, however, lauded development partners for the gesture in helping those who have fled violence.

"Most of those fleeing the violence are women and children and we want them to get the best social services. As a district, we have also been relieved in the sense that there has been a lot of pressure put on the only resources in the district budgeted for the locals but now it has been shared by the fleeing refugees, Mr Ogwok said.

"The government and development partners have, however, taken the responsibility of catering for them unlike in the past when resources have been shared," he added.

The refugees fled their homes following renewed fights that erupted last week in South Sudan's Imatong State where government forces, the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA), launched offensive against various militias in the area.

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