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UNHCR Relocates 1,000 Congolese to Nakivale Refugee Camp

Douglas Asiimwe, the Acting Commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister says that on Thursday 1,000 refugees out of 16,475 refugees have been transferred to Nakivale refugee camp.
Some of the Refugees waiting for permission to board a bus at Nyakabande on Thursday (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has transferred 1,000 Congolese refugees from the Nyakabande transit site in Kisoro district to Nakivale refugees camp in Isingiro. 

The refugees fled Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo’s Rutshuru territory last month after heavy fighting between the March 23 Movement (M23) rebels and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) soldiers.

Douglas Asiimwe, the Acting Commissioner for Refugees in the Office of the Prime Minister says that on Thursday 1,000 refugees out of 16,475 refugees have been transferred to Nakivale refugee camp.  Asiimwe explains that due to a high number of refugees, they have opted to transfer them to Nakivale due to limited space at Nyakabande.

According to Asiimwe, Nkakabande transit centre has a capacity to host 20,000 refugees.

// Cue in: “today we are…

Cue out: …this area.”//  

Abel Niwamanya, Uganda Red Cross Society team leader at Nyakabande refugee transit centre says that transferring the refugees to Nakivale camp is welcome because the influx at Nyakabande had caused a water crisis putting the lives of the refugees at risk.

Niyonzima Semajeri, a resident of Mukingo, and Rikie Mutumbo, a resident of Kinyamahura in Rutshuru territory all refugees who have been living at Nyakabande transit centre say that they have no problem being transferred to Nakivale refugees camp because they are tired of staying spending the nights in the cold.  

They say that they rather remain in Uganda where there is an assurance of peace. 

//Cue in: “eeh balwanila dala…

Cue out:….so much.  

Meanwhile, the fate of M23 rebels is likely to be among topical discussions during the East African Community Mini-Summit on Thursday in Nairobi Kenya, according to Tina Salama, Deputy Spokesperson for the President of DRC Felix Tshisekedi. 

The summit will be attended by Presidents from countries under the East African Community.