Gov’t Moves to Repatriate Congo Refugees

viagra geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Full statement:

Because of relative peace and stability in Uganda, and instability among its immediate neighbours especially the DRC, Republic of South Sudan and other surrounding countries such as Somalia, refugees have continued to flow into the country.

So far the refugees being hosted in different settlements in Uganda are 374,539.

It is from this population that an estimated 150 persons boarded a local passenger boat from Kenjojo landing site near Kyangwali heading for Kanara Landing site in Ntoroko, spontaneously returning home.

This is after the mid-February 2014, United Nations interventions force entering various areas of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and dislodged the various rebel groups including the M23 and the ADF rebels including the rebels that were occupying Kamango County which is near Uganda (Bundibujo) and DR boarder.


This accident that happened on Saturday between 10:30 and 11:30am was a result of one of those spontaneous returns.

The exact number of passengers on board is yet to be established, however, these are so far the number of bodies recovered, 44 female, 63 male (among them 57 children ) totalling to 107.

Around January, 2014, there was a reduction of food rations to 50% and this affected only the old caseload.

This was occasioned by the influx of the South Sudanese refugees who needed to be fed.

This situation was returned to normalcy after World Food Programme resumed distribution of 100% food rations effective end of February to all beneficiaries.

The projected WFP needs for 2014 to feed the 370,000 refugees in the country are put at US $ 50,777.537.

Government of Uganda (OPM, Police, UPF, district authorities), UNHCR, Uganda Red cross society and other partners are working together in this tragedy and so far;

1) 19 bodies were retrieved, identified and handed over to DRC Government on Saturday 22nd March 2014 for burial (15 children,0-5 years and 4 adults).

2) On Sunday 23rd/o3/2014,6 more bodies were retrieved.

3) On Monday 24th/03/2014. 82 bodies had been retrieved by 2pm. Details of Gender and Age to be availed after post-mortem and identification.

4) 45 people have been rescued alive that is 41 Congolese and 4 Ugandans.

5) Refugees survivors are being relocated to Bubukwanga transit camp where food and medical attention are available.

6) All bodies retrieved are being transported from Ntoroko Landing site to Bundibujo Hospital where post-mortem is being done together with identification before handover to relatives from DRC, who have been coordinating returning since Saturday in Bundibujo.

7) Police Marines are continuing with search for more bodies.

Way Forward

1) Government is stepping up efforts to ensure orderly repatriations of the refugees wishing to return to their countries.

2) Government has deployed the Uganda Police, UPDF, Marine units and civilian fishing boats to continue with the search efforts to recover the dead bodies.

The regional Police commander Charles Ssebambulinde is at Kitebere Landing site-Kibaale ensuring continuous progress of the search effort.

3) OPM and UNHCR are providing fuel for the motorized boats to carryout search and transport dead bodies through Ntoroko Landing site-Ntoroko District.

4) Fisheries Beach Management Unit needs to keep records and desegregated data of people who board ports to leave Lake Albert for DRC.

On Behalf of the Government of Uganda, I extend deepest condolences to the bereaved families and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and also extend to you condolences from the UNHCR, H.E. Antonio GUETTRES, Geneva.

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