Eight Die As South Sudanese Refugees, Host Community Fight In Uganda

Eight people were reportedly killed in Uganda after a fight broke out between South Sudanese refugees and their host community.

Ugandan Police said the fighting between the refugees at the Rhino Refugee Settlement Camp and their Arua district host community was triggered by quarrels over a water source.

Titus Jogo, the officer in charge of the refugee desk in Obangi district, which borders Arua, said a host community member was killed in a one on one fight with a refugee.

After that, the host community mobilised and attacked the camp.

Details on whether the eight were refugees or from the host community are unclear.

Mr Jogo further said no arrests had been made but there was a heavy police presence in the area.

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John Jal Dak, the executive director for Youth Social Advocacy Team, a civil society organisation in Rhino camp, said six refugees were confirmed dead.

He added that many refugees are reportedly missing but could not confirm the number of those killed in the host community.

In July 2018, more than 40 houses of South Sudanese refugees were burned down in Ayilo Camp in Adjumani district by the host community.

This followed allegations that a teenage girl was raped and killed by some refugees. Police later said the death was due to a snake bite.

In December 2019, four people were killed and 16 wounded in Uganda’s Adjumani district.

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In July, an ethnic fight instigated by the alleged theft of maize from a farm left many injured and hundreds of houses burnt down in Palorinya refugee settlement in Obangi district.

Uganda police authorities later said 20 suspects were arrested.

According to UNHCR, the Rhino camp is Uganda’s fourth largest refugee settlement area, with a population of 102,000 South Sudanese refugees as of August 2017.

Most of them were displaced by the 2013 and 2016 civil wars in South Sudan.

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