Police in Arua district is investigating a local council chairman and six locals for staging riots and attacks on refugee camps in that district.
On Thursday police engaged in running battles and arrested the LC III Chairman for Odupi sub-county identified as Jude Adraka for inciting violence that led to riots and attacks on refugee camps in his area of leadership.
The others arrested with their leader were identified as Nicholas Drajole, Simon Afamani, Patrick Azamuke, Jackson Abtre and another only identified as Were.
According to sources, the arrested are accused of staging violent attacks on the refugee camps in their area by blocking roads leading to the camps as well as burning refugee property in the camps.
It is said the Thursday uprising stemmed from locals being side-lined in the employment distribution policies of the refugee agencies in the area.
Locals say that refugee agencies have not offered them employment opportunities in the camps but instead outsource labour from outside communities which leaves them unemployed.
“They claim that local residents have not been considered even as casual labourers at construction sites within the refugee camps,” authorities said.
During the violent riots that rocked Arua on Thursday, locals also cited ongoing construction works at St Luke secondary School in Omugo sub-county by Fin church organisation which they accused of employing labourers from neighbouring districts of Arua.
In an interview with our reporter, Josephine Angucia the West Nile regional police spokesperson said that the rioters also accused some camp contractors for non-payment of the building materials that locals had supplied to them.
She said the contractors had for long failed to pay for murram which locals had supplied for construction of roads yet the lead refugee agency UNHCR had released funds for clearance.
The police publicist however told ChimpReports that as investigation take course, “A solution through dialogue with the concerned stakeholders has been initiated to solve the grievances appropriately.”
Last year, over one million refugees from South Sudan entered into the country and have since been settled in camps located in Arua district and other West Nile districts.
The insurgency in South Sudan between government and Riek Machar’s opposition rebels has led to the influx of refugees in Uganda especially the West Nile region.
Currently Uganda holds the biggest number of refugees in the whole world from various countries including South Sudan, DRC, Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia.