UN refugee agency relocates Congolese refugees in western Uganda

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Congolese refugees in Uganda. [Photo: UNHCR/L.Beck]

Hundreds of Congolese refugees in western Uganda are being relocated from a congested transit centre to the northeastern part of the country, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) announced on Friday.

According to the agency, the refugees fled to Uganda in July after the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group attacked Kamango town in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

UNHCR spokesperson, Adrian Edwards, says the first group of the Congolese refugees was moved on Wednesday.

"Together with the Office of the Prime Minister we moved the first 864 refugees from Bubukwanga Transit Centre in Bundibugyo District to Kyangwali Refugee Settlement. This is a 10-hour drive up to the northeast. They will receive a more comprehensive treatment there such as building materials, household items. We have registered so far, more than 5,500 refugees out of those. At Bubukwanga registration is continuing.” (26")

Adrian Edwards says that more than 80 per cent of the Congolese refugees in Uganda have expressed a willingness to move to the refugee settlement.

He points out that the Bubukwanga Transit Centre was established as a temporary safe haven to accommodate not more than 12,500 people but there are now close to 20,000 refugees.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration: 1’32″

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