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South Sudan Refugees Secretly Settle Along Disputed Border :: Uganda Radionetwork
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South Sudan Refugees Secretly Settle Along Disputed Border

Dinah Sadia, the Refugee Welfare Council (RWC I) chairperson for Zone two in Bidibidi refugee settlement told Uganda Radio Network that over ten refugees from her zone alone have since moved to settle along the disputed border area in search of farming land over the past three weeks. She blamed the exodus on the food cut and prioritization strategy announced by WFP recently.
Bidi Bidi refugee camp is one of the largest refugee settlements in Uganda

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Several South Sudanese refugees in Bidibidi settlement in Yumbe district are reportedly sneaking to settle along the disputed Uganda-South Sudan border in search of farm land.

The self-resettlements follow a decision by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to prioritise food assistance for the most vulnerable refugees in Uganda, which commenced this month.

According to the local authorities in Yumbe district, the refugees are mostly settled along conflict prone border areas of Gobiri area in Lefori Sub County, Moyo district and Mgburugburuchu parish, Kochi Sub County in Yumbe district.

Dinah Sadia, the Refugee Welfare Council (RWC I) chairperson for Zone two in Bidibidi refugee settlement told Uganda Radio Network that over ten refugees from her zone alone have since moved to settle along the disputed border area in search of farming land over the past three weeks. She blamed the exodus on the food cut and prioritization strategy announced by WFP recently.

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Meanwhile, Stephen Lagu, another Refugee Welfare Council (RWC) official at the settlement explains that some refugees have moved as far as Busia market in Koboko district in search of farmland.

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But, Abdumutwalib Asiku, the Yumbe district LC 5 Chairperson has cautioned the refugees to avoid abandoning the settlements in search of farm land along the disputed borders saying they risk being caught up in conflicts.

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Early this year, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced that they will prioritise food assistance for the most vulnerable refugees in Uganda as needs outstrip resources. Under the new food distribution assistance, refugees have been categorized into three different levels depending on their vulnerability.

Under the new food assistance guidelines issued by the World Food Programme (WFP), refugees under level I are expected to receive 3.7 kilograms of food ration or 28,000 shillings every month. Meanwhile those in Level II will receive shillings 14,000 and those in level III are expected not to receive any assistance.

Bidibidi refugee settlement currently has a population of 190,828 refugees as of May 31, 2023, according to data from the Uganda comprehensive Refugee Responsive Portal. 

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