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Kyangwali Encroachers Want Their Land Back :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Kyangwali Encroachers Want Their Land Back

On Thursday last week, the OPM began eviction of the encroachers to pave way for the relocation of more than 20,000 Congolese refugees from Bubukwanga Refugee Transit centre in Bundibugyo district.

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Over 60,000 people evicted from Kyangwali Refugee Settlement Camp in Hoima district are pushing to return to what they call their land a week after eviction.

 

The victims, who accuse the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) of evicting them unfairly, have been camping at the Kyangwali sub county headquarters.

On Thursday last week, the OPM began eviction of the encroachers to pave way for the relocation of more than 20,000 Congolese refugees from Bubukwanga Refugee Transit centre in Bundibugyo district.

The eviction saw more than 60,000 people pushed out the land they have been calling home for decades with no place to go other than camping at the sub county headquarters.

On Tuesday, while meeting Bunyoro Affairs Minister Ernest Kiiza, the residents demanded that government returns them to their land. The evictees narrated to the minister that they had no food and shelter at their new camp.

Wilson Kagando, who was evicted from Bukinda 1 village, says his 10 family members are going hungry as all his food crops remained behind. The 48-year-old claims that the 20-acre piece of land from which he was evicted was inherited from his parents twenty years ago and demands that government returns it to him.

Jackson Mugabe, a 40-year old resident of Bukinda says on top of lack of food and shelter at the sub county, the place lacks sufficient sanitary facilities. Mugabe says the sub county has only a single toilet, being used by the over 60,000 people. He says due to the scramble for one latrine facility, some residents end up running to the nearby bush to ease themselves.

//Cue in: "We are suffering....

Cue out:...back to our land."//

Area leaders including the Kyangwali LC3 Chairman Rwemera Mazirane and Julius Bigirwa Junjura, the Buhaguzi County Member of Parliament, are backing the residents. During the meeting, Junjura lashed out at OPM for hurriedly evicting the locals yet the settlement camp still had empty land.

The angry legislator said the locals could have been sensitized first and given sometime to leave, as the refugees are allocated plots in the inhabited land.

//Cue in: "Let’s assume...

Cue out: ...leave those areas."//

Minister Kiiza who spoke amidst heckling from the evictees said he had come for an on-ground fact-finding mission so that he advises government accordingly. The minister first made a three-hour tour of the settlement camp up to the border on River Nguse. He promised a government solution soon.

//Cue in: "I came on....

Cue out: ...to a halt."//

A URN reporter saw many demolished permanent and semi-permanent houses left behind by the evictees. Among them was Bukinda Trading centre, which was a major business hub in the area. All that could be seen were empty de-roofed commercial buildings.

In the villages of Kentome and Kagoma, some refugees were seen re-roofing houses left behind by the evicted people. The evictees are from 31 villages in Kasonga parish. Some of the villages are Bukinda A and B, Bukinda 2, Kavule, Bwizibwera A and B Kyeya A and B, Nyaruhanga, Kabirizi ,Nyamigisa A and B and Katoma among others.

OPM in conjunction with United Nations High Commission for Refugees—UNHCR—on August 13 began relocation of more than 20,000 Congolese refugees from Bubukwanga refugee transit center in Bundibugyo district to Kyangwali refugee settlement camp in Hoima district.

The Congolese ran to Uganda in June following clashes between the rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces-ADF and government forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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