South Sudan, Burundi Refugee Numbers Soar in Uganda

For the past years, approved more about the raging war in South Sudan has been pushing refugees to Uganda. Now with the simmering violence in Burundi, view information pills the country is receiving overwhelming numbers of asylum seekers.

Uganda has received a total of 18,807 Burundian refugees since November 2014, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In comparison to previous months, the country continues to receive a remarkable, albeit steady, influx of Burundian refugees.

A total of 390 Burundian new arrivals were received in Nakivale out of which 28 were picked from Mutukula Border, three from Mirama Hills, 301 walked to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) for registration and 49 individuals were referred from Kampala.

Another 10 Burundian walk-in asylum seekers, who entered Uganda through Kikagati Border were transferred from Oruchinga to Kabazana Reception Centre in Nakivale Refugee Settlement.

According to UNHCR, they are mainly fleeing from Bujumbura, Muyinga, Kirundo, Kibitoke and Bubanza, Gitega and Karusi provinces, citing continued insecurity stirred by renewed fights between government and opposition groups as well as family reunifications as reasons for flight.

UNHCR divulged that the new arrivals have been granted prima-facie status and are residing at Kabazana Reception Centre awaiting resettlement.

In Nakivale, OPM settled and allocated 16×20 metre plots of land to 259 Burundians (120 households) for construction of shelters.


Prior to the settlement process, OPM and UNHCR emergency team conducted a sensitization exercise to create awareness on proper use, sharing and maintenance of key available services at the Sub-base Camp offices.

Majority of the refugees according to UNHCR have molded mud bricks, ready to commence construction of their shelters.

Nakivale Settlement is close to its capacity with a population of 20,000 individuals. UNHCR revealed that Site preparation at new settlement areas needs to be initiated.

Refugees from South Sudan

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, 3,667; Arua 878 and Kiryandongo 636, as of January 12.

The arrival trend was about 50 individuals per day in the first three days then shot up peaking on January 7-8 with over 700 daily arrivals.

So far, the average rate of arrival is averaging 431 individuals per day, though with fears of further increase, according to reports from UNHCR.

The new Madi-Opei border point reported previously received slightly over 50 refugees as of end of December last year but they are often few and far between with as long as three weeks lapsing without a single arrival.

UNHCR reports that this year has not seen an individual come through this border point yet.

Nonetheless, UNHCR, OPM and partners are organizing a reconnaissance mission to MadiOpei to consult with the district and immigration officials in preparation of possible influx.

Overall, Uganda offers protection and safety to more than half a million people who have fled their homes and is the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa after Ethiopia and Kenya.

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