Congolese Refugee Crisis Spills Over Border, Thousands Seek Safety in Uganda

Over 400 Congolese refugees have been relocated to Bubukwanga Refugee Transit Camp in Bundibugyo District.

Congolese refugees with their belongings at the Bubukwanga transit centre in Uganda's Bundibugyo district. © UNHCR/L.Beck
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More than 3,000 Congolese refugees fled their homes in Beni District, North Kivu Province, after attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF rebels on November 14th. Over 400 of these refugees have been relocated to the Bubukwanga Refugee Transit Camp in Bundibugyo District, Uganda.

The group, mostly comprising women and children, entered Bundibugyo District through Butoogho and initially camped at Butoogho Primary School. However, more than 1,000 of these refugees are now reportedly being hosted by their relatives across the district, while others are suspected to have crossed back to their home country.

The Bundibugyo District Vice Chairperson, Joel Bwambale, appealed to all communities that are hosting the refugees to report them to the Local Council and security leaders to ensure that they are properly registered and can receive necessary assistance.

Francis Ssenyondo, the District Refugee Focal Person, stated that the district, in collaboration with other agencies, is working to ensure that all asylum seekers are transferred to the Bubukwanga Refugee Transit Camp. This includes those who are currently being hosted by relatives, who will also be screened and documented for proper management.

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The Ugandan government is providing assistance to the refugees, including food, water, and shelter. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is also working to provide additional support.

The influx of refugees has put a strain on resources in Bundibugyo District. However, the Ugandan government and humanitarian organizations are committed to providing assistance to those fleeing violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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