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Over 1860 New Congolese Refugees Enter Uganda

Between 23rd and 26th December, over 1,860 new refugees from Democratic of the Congo (DRC) have crossed to Uganda following inter- communal violence in Ituri region.

The new arrivals entered Uganda through Lake Albert and Kisoro.

This brings the total number of new arrivals since 18th December to 4,584.

According to reports from the Red Cross,  the vast majority (4,009) of the refugees mainly from North Kivu entered Uganda crossing Lake Albert  aboard fishing boats, with smaller numbers (575) coming in through more commonly used border points in Kisoro, Kanungu and Bundibugyo districts.

“The refugees crossing Lake Albert continued to arrive to Sebagoro and Nsonga, in Uganda’s Hoima district. The new arrivals are reportedly fleeing intercommunal violence at Djugu territory in DRC’s Ituri region, including in the villages of Retso, Joo, Kobu, Kiripa and Torogesi” part of the Red Cross statement reads.

The majority of these refugees, almost 80% of the new arrivals are Women and children.

The statement Red Cross shows that refugee families are being separated due to the journey’s high cost, “exit” fees reportedly imposed by armed groups on the Congolese side of Lake Albert and forced recruitment of young men.

Some 3,756 refugees have been transferred from Lake Albert landing sites to Kagoma reception centre in Kyangwali settlement.

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Some 1,512 have been already allocated a plot of land in Marembo C and provided with shelter materials and non-food items (NFIs) to help them settle.

At Kagoma, adequate supply of safe drinking water is currently a challenge, but partners are working around the clock to increase the daily supply from 10 liters per person per day (l/p/d) through to a minimum of 15 l/p/d, in line with emergency standards.

A 5,000 liter water tanks has been installed and another one with a 10,000 liter capacity is in the pipeline.

About 60 unaccompanied minors have been identified and supported through the restoration of family links program.

As of Wednesday 27th December, the Nyakabande Transit Centre in Kisoro district hosted 1,436 Congolese refugees. A convoy of approximately 1,000 refugees, already biometrically registered, is scheduled to depart for Kyaka II settlement on 28thDecember, following the first convoy of 734 Congolese on 21 December.

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