100 Congolese Nationals Flee Fresh Clashes in Eastern DRC

More than 100 Congolese nationals fleeing fresh tribal clashes in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo-DRC have crossed into Kikuube district. The fresh clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere tribesmen are said to have broken out on Wednesday morning.

The Congolese nationals crossed to Kikuube through lake Albert and landed at Songa landing site in Buhuka parish, Kyangwali sub-county on Wednesday evening.  The asylum seekers, mostly women, children, and the elderly are from Joo, Gobu, and Roo in Bunia district, Ituri province.

Emmanuel Bisango,50, one of the Congolese refugees from Gubo village told URN in an interview on Thursday morning that the situation back home in the DRC is tense. He says the Lendu descended on his community killing dozens of people and injuring scores in the wee hours of Wednesday morning forcing thousands of people to flee their homes for fear for their dear lives.

Reginal Okumu Ngamita, the LC II Chairperson of Buhuka parish explains that they recieved the refugees and transferred them to Sebigoro reception center for screening. He says the refugees will be registered before they are transferred to Kyangwali refugees’ settlement. He says they expect the number of refugees to double by the end of this week and that appropriate measures should be put in place to handle the influx.

Ngamita calls on the intervention of humanitarian agencies and the Health Ministry to vaccinate the refugees to avoid the spread of communicable diseases. Vincent Alpha Opio, the Kikuube LC V vice Chairperson has called for heightened security surveillance along the shores of lake Albert following the fresh tribal clashes.

According to Opio, some wrong elements could take advantage of the tribal clashes in the DRC to cross into the country and cause havoc. Opio says the district leadership is liaising with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR to ensure that the refugees are screened, registered, and transferred to Kyangwali refugee settlement.

Topheus Chali, the Kyangwali refugee settlement commander, said that she was out of the office and that her office had not yet been fully furnished with the information about the arrivals of the Congolese refugees. Since 2018, thousands of Congolese refugees have flocked to Uganda following tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere. 

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