The Kisoro district LCV chairperson Abel Bizimana has said he regrets his involvement, as a district leader, in the forceful eviction of Congolese from the Nyakabande Holding Camp.
The government effective October 31 closed Nyakabande refugee holding centre with a view to transferring all refugees to settlement camps in western Uganda. Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Esther Anyakun says the decision was reached following the lack of funds to maintain the Centre.
Thousands of Congolese who had taken refuge within Bunagana town council as well as Nyakabande Holding camp were given only 90 days to either return home to the Democratic republic of Congo or go to designated settlement camps in Uganda.
The October 31st deadline, from the disaster preparedness ministry was successfully achieved by the Kisoro Resident District Commissioner Hajji Shafiq Ssekandi, after nearly six months of ‘Carrot- Stick’ diplomacy with the asylum seekers.
Bizimana now claims the decision was extremely harsh and that he can no longer be associated with what Minister Anyakun and the acting Commissioner for Refugees Douglas Asiimwe advocated for. Bizimana made the remarks while addressing all district councilors, members of the civil society and other implementing partners during the district Budget conference at the district council hall.
He says his signals in DR. Congo have reported that Congolese are extremely angry with the way Uganda is managing the refugee situation in Kisoro. He warned OPM and UNHCR against causing permanent enemity between the people of Kisoro and those from Congo.
Bizimana claims his efforts to lobby for the return of Ssekandi to Kisoro district is now proving disastrous as he is too quick to implement Government directives instead of first consulting with the local leaders.
The Mupaka town council LCV councilor John Bosco Musabyimana says Government should remember that many Ugandans cross over into Congo to do agriculture therefore if the relations become sour, then people of Kisoro will die of hunger.
The Busanza LCV councilor Joram Hagabimana says UNHCR has been ferrying firewood from Busanza for the last six months. Hagabimana adds, the heavy trucks have left the roads impassable and now that the refugees have been evicted, the communities have been forgotten.
The Source Reports.
We come to you.