Police Hunt for Isingiro District Chairman for Planning Attack on Refugee Camp

Isingiro LC V chairman Jeremiah Kamurali who is accused of inciting violence in the district

Police in western Uganda are hunting for the Chairman LC5 Isingiro district Jeremiah Kamurari to explain his role in the clashes between locals and refugees at the Nakivale refugee settlement camp in the same district.

The LC 5 chairman is said to have incited locals to launch an attack on the camp.

Some residents are enraged by what they call refugees uncontrolled encroachment on their native land.

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Mr Kamurari according to police and officials at the camp, treatment was supportive of the attack which he code named ‘Operation Nakivale Nzima.’

The chairman and some of the aggrieved residents are concerned that Nakivale camp has no boundaries and their land.

Last Saturday a security meeting involving the Police, there UPDF and officials from Office of the Prime Minister sat at Kitazya Market in Kashumba Sub County, where it emerged that some residents were planning an attack on the camp.

The plan was condemned and discouraged by the officials, as it could lead to bloodshed. They advised the district chairman Kamurari to opt for dialogue with the refugee camp leadership.

However, on Monday Kamurari mobilized the locals to raid the refugee camp, but police caught wind of the plan in advance and arrested 3 suspected ring leaders on Tuesday morning.

In response, angry residents broke into a violent demonstration blocking the road leading to the refugee camp and destroying its signposts. Police responded with bullets and teargas, and arrested a number of locals.

According to the Rwizi Regional Police Commander Robert Walugembe, they had earlier met and discussed the issue with district chairman.

“We even showed him a letter from the minister, and urged him to drop the option of violence,” the RPC told reporters.

Walugembe said he was disappointed in the chairman and noted that he would have to be arrested and questioned on his actions.

Mr Kamurari’s whereabouts were still unknown.

Speaking to Chimpreports, some of the residents claimed the refugee settlement commandant has been forcefully allocating their land to the refugees.

In response however the resettlement commandant John Bosco Sentamu said he was surprised that people could organize to attack refugees in a camp.

Nakivale settlement camp commandant Robert Walugembe

Nakivale settlement camp commandant Robert Walugembe

“We know that their plan was to come and storm the base camp where we sit with UN but thank God we managed to move faster and foil the attack. We know that situation is not yet stable and we need more security,’ he said.

The Nakivale refugee camp was established in 1958 and officially recognized in 1960 as a refugee resettlement with 91 Square mile land.

Currently it houses 12000 refugees from 13 countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Eritrea, Tanzania, Somalia and many others.

However this camp that is shared by six Sub Counties of Rushasha, Rugaga, Kashumba, Amara and Kabingo town council.

Over the years it has not been short of conflicts between locals and refugees over land.


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