The Lokung East sub county LC 3 Chairperson, David Ocan Kasisi told URN that eye witnesses have reliably informed them that some refugees sneak out through the porous border points at Waligo and Ngomoromo to carry out farming in South Sudan.
Several South Sudanese
Refugees in Palabek settlement in Lamwo district are reportedly sneaking back
home illegally. The most affected refugees are from Pajok in Magwi County,
Eastern Equatorial State of South Sudan.
The return of refugees is supposed to be guided by a Tripartite Agreement, a
legal bilateral framework setting out the modalities for the voluntary return
of refugees to their country of origin in safety and dignity.
Over 40,000 South
Sudanese refugees have sought sought safety in Uganda since 2017 citing fears
of fresh armed insurgence, hunger, sexual and physical violence and forced recruitment
of children among other reasons.
The Lokung East sub
county LC 3 Chairperson, David Ocan Kasisi told URN that eye witnesses have reliably
informed them that some refugees sneak out through the porous border points at
Waligo and Ngomoromo to carry out farming in South Sudan.
According to Kasisi, the refugees are also reportedly collaborating with
Sudanese People’s Liberation Army – SPLA in opposition who sometimes threaten
peace, stability and security of Lamwo households along the boundary.
Robert Ocan, the Palabek Camp chairperson confirmed to URN in a phone interview
that some refugees sneak for fear of having their refugee status revoked to
maintain their homes and do farming since the land allocated to them is not
According to Charles Ogeno, a researcher at the London School of Economics who
explored displacement and return of the refugees revealed that some of them
return to their homes to gather information that would inform their future
//Cue in: “I have been.....
Cue out…. in the country.”//
Ogeno further noted that several refugees also return to their homes despite
safety precautions because of food aid related challenges.
//Cue in: “Much as.....
Cue out…. the settlement.”//
Julius Mucunguzi, the Communications Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister-OPM
disputed the claims of the illegal return of the refugees to their homes. He
however, said the Ugandan Government encourages voluntary repatriation of
In line with the 2006 Refugee Act, refugees in Uganda continue to enjoy freedom
of movement, the right to work and establish businesses, the right to documentation
and equal access to national services.
The OPM, United Nations High Commission for Refugees – UNHCR and other partners
continue to provide all new arrivals with reception assistance at entry points
and collection centers as well as relocation to settlements.
Uganda is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, with over a
million refugees, most of them from South Sudan, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC), Burundi and Somalia.
In March this year, South Sudan’s Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs and
Disaster Management said over 140,000 South Sudan refugees who fled the country
to Uganda, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and Sudan at the height of the
civil war had returned home.