Refugees in Uganda Exceed 500,000 Amid Regional Turmoil

Uganda is home to over 500,000 refugees

The United Nations, visit this site whose move on the internal crisis stricken Burundi has been eagerly awaited, ask has reached out to the International Criminal Court to handle the deteriorating calamity.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the Human Rights Council in Geneva in a special Session on Thursday that involvement of the ICC in the East African nation to combat open impunity would be prudent.

Mr. Zeid recognized the dire situation in Burundi, website like this but his call for ICC — which prosecutes war crimes and crimes against humanity — when these are still being meted out on unarmed civilians, women and children, could point to a despondent UN.

“The carnage of last week confirmed the extent to which violence and intimidation are catapulting the country back to the past – to Burundi’s deeply troubled, dark and horrendously violent past…and has only served to move the much-needed political solution further from reach. The ICC should be involved to combat impunity,” Zeid said.

The appearances of dead bodies littering on the streets of capital Bujumbura has become a norm people wake up daily to.

Burundi has been in the midst of a political crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term earlier this year. About 220,000 have fled the carnage to neighboring countries while many others have been internally displaced.

Last month, Mr. Zeid warned of a relapse into full-fledged civil war. “The time for piecemeal responses and fiddling around the edges is over,” Zeid said.

“The situation in Burundi demands a robust, decisive response from the international community. I called last month on the Security Council to consider all possible steps to stop the ongoing violence and prevent a regional conflict, including travel bans and asset freezes. Today, those calls are more relevant than ever. Diplomatic and political calculations must not eclipse the need for action,” he added. He warned  of the “growing, alarming risk of regionalization of the crisis” and calling on Burundi’s neighbors to play a constructive role in defusing the crisis, including monitoring borders, possibly with “drones,” to halt the reported flow of weapons.

He called on the Government to take all necessary steps to disarm pro-government militias and bring operations of the police, intelligence services and other security forces under the mantle of the law.

“While the future of the county is in the hands of Burundian leaders, this Council has a clear responsibility to do all in its power to prevent the worst from materializing in Burundi in the coming days,” he concluded. “We owe no less to the people of Burundi, who have endured enough.”
Uganda is hosting more than half a million refugees and asylum seekers for the first time in its history, ambulance a report released on Friday by the UN Refugee Agency reveals.

The report shows that there are increasing number of people being forced to flee their homes around the world. It adds that 2015 is likely to exceed all previous records for global forced displacement.

Uganda is now home to 510, nurse 973 refugees and asylum-seekers as of December 10, and 2015, meaning it has now become the third largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, and the eighth-largest refugee-hosting country in the world.

UNHCR revealed that in 2015 alone, more than 90,000 people have fled to Uganda to escape violence and human rights abuses in South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.

UNHCR’s Mid-Year Trends 2015 report, covering the period from January to June, and looking at worldwide displacement resulting from conflict and persecution, shows markers firmly in the red in each of the three major categories of displacement – Refugees, asylum-seekers, and people forced to flee inside their own countries.

2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time, according to UNHCR.

The global refugee total, which a year ago was 19.5 million, had as of mid-2015 passed the 20 million threshold (20.2 million) for the first time since 1992.

Asylum applications were meanwhile up 78 percent (993,600) over the same period in 2014. And the numbers of internally displaced people jumped by around 2 million to an estimated 34 million (the report covers only internally displaced people protected by UNHCR, the global total including people both in and outside UNHCR’s care is only available in mid-2016).

According to High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, forced displacement is now profoundly affecting the times.

“It touches the lives of millions of our fellow human beings – both those forced to flee and those who provide them with shelter and protection. Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything,” he explained.

UNHCR Representative to Uganda Neimah Warsame praised Uganda for its ‘outstanding generosity and hospitality’ shown towards refugees and asylum-seekers, and called on all partners involved in the refugee response to work together to develop an innovative approach to refugee protection that goes beyond emergency assistance towards providing long-term development.

“Uganda is pioneering a model of refugee protection that serves as an inspiration for other countries to follow, not only in the region, but across the globe,” said Warsame.

He added that the world has entered a new era of global forced displacement and Uganda is showing exceptional leadership by providing refugees with some of the best prospects for self-reliance and normality found anywhere in the world.

Warsame said refugees are strong, resilient and they are full of potential.

He said that if the country gives them the opportunity, they will prove themselves as partners on the journey towards progress and development.

“But Uganda cannot do this alone. The success of this inspirational model relies on the wholehearted engagement of all donor, government and humanitarian and development partners involved. It is now incumbent upon us to work together, to pool our collective resources, and to help refugees make rich and full contributions to the economic and social fabric of Uganda for as long as they remain in the country,” he said.

Uganda is widely recognized as having progressive and forward-thinking refugee and asylum policies.

Upon receiving refugee status, refugees are settled in villages integrated within local host communities; a pioneering approach that enhances social cohesion and allows both refugees and host communities to live together peacefully.

The government has also included refugee management and protection within its own domestic planning in the National Development Plan (NDP II), through the [refugee] Settlement Transformative Agenda. This approach means Uganda has created a fertile environment for including long-term development planning into the humanitarian response for refugees and their host communities.

Header advertisement


Header advertisement
To Top