150 Congolese Nationals Flee Fresh Fighting in DRC

More than 130 Congolese nationals have entered Arua District following ethnic conflict over land. The nationals who are mainly women, children, and some elderly persons are from the Ituri province in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They are currently camped at a Church in Adraka trading center, in Logiri sub-county, Arua district.

John Bosco Odama, the Logiri Sub County Chairperson says that the Congolese started arriving in the sub-county on Monday. Odama, says that they are currently being looked after by well-wishers who have been giving them food to survive.

Geoffrey Okiswa, the Arua Resident District Commissioner explains that the asylum seekers crossed into Uganda through the porous border points along the Vurra-Logiri –DRC border. He further notes that his office has already alerted the Office of the Prime Minister for intervention.

Jena Toma, the Deputy Refugee Desk officer at the Office of the Prime Minister- OPM in Arua, says that although they intervened in the matter, the Congolese are not interested in getting asylum in Uganda and are planning to relocate to their homeland land in Mahagi territory in DRC.

Since 1999, the Hema and Lendu ethnic groups in Ituri province have been engaged in sporadic conflicts over land use. But between 2017 and 2018 the inter-ethnic fighting between the two communities led to widespread displacement of people.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, inter-communal violence in Ituri Province has forced more than 300,000 people to flee for their lives.

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