1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. DRC

Uganda overstretched by DRC refugee influx

Congolese refugees in Nteko reception centre in the southwestern district of Kisoro district, Uganda
Congolese refugees in Nteko reception centre in the southwestern district of Kisoro district, Uganda (Feb 2012) (Samuel Okiror/IRIN)

Ugandan officials say they are struggling to cope with a continuing influx of civilians fleeing violence in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

“We are struggling to provide the basic needs and facilities. It’s not easy to manage and provide shelter, water, health services and food for them,” Uganda’s commissioner for refugees, David Kazungu, told IRIN. Every day, 50-80 refugees were crossing the border, he said.

Many of the new arrivals are staying at a transit camp at Nyakabande in Kisoro District, which was originally designed to house just 1,000 people and now has 3,500 residents.

Describing conditions at the site as “over-stretched but completely under control”, Kai Nielsen, the UN Refugee Agency’s representative in Uganda, said lack of available land meant no refugees had been transferred from the site to more permanent settlements since late February.

“The new arrivals are accommodated in family tents, and more tents are put up as and when required,” he said.

More recent arrivals from DRC are thought to have fled a government offensive against defected soldiers led by International Criminal Court indictee Bosco Ntaganda.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

We uncovered the sex abuse scandal that rocked the WHO, but there’s more to do

We just covered a report that says the World Health Organization failed to prevent and tackle widespread sexual abuse during the Ebola response in Congo.

Our investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation triggered this probe, demonstrating the impact our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone. 

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and do more of this. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.