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Minister Anyakun orders refugees to vacate community areas

By Melanie Aanyu,

The Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Ms Esther Anyakun, has given a seven-day ultimatum to all Congolese refugees renting houses in Bunagana border town and other border sub-counties in Kisoro District to voluntarily relocate to Nyakabande transit refugee camp or return to their country.

She made the call while assessing the refugee situation in Kisoro after flagging off 264 Congolese refugees that were relocated from Nyakabande to refugee settlement camps in Kyaka II, Rwamwanja and Kyangwari in western region.

Although about 17,536 Congolese refugees are being accommodated at Nyakabande transit camp, hundreds of their colleagues opted to remain at Bunagana border post where they hired accommodation facilities, claiming that they wanted to keep monitoring the security situation in their country.

Thousands of refugees last month flocked into Uganda through the border following fighting between the M23 rebels and the Congolese government soldiers.

The commissioner-in-charge of refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Douglas Asiimwe, said about 3,000 Congolese refugees have been relocated to the different refugee settlement camps after voluntarily accepting the refugee status.

The Resident District Commissioner, Mr Shafiq Sekandi, said about 6,000 Congolese refugees are renting houses while others are staying with their relatives in Bunagana and Rukundo town councils, Nyarubuye and Muramba sub-counties.