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Refugees overwhelming Uganda - Otafiire

 Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire launching the report

Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire launching the report

Neighbouring countries should learn from Uganda and resolve their political differences without resorting to war that eventually forces their nationals to flock into Uganda as refugees, minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire has said.

Otafiire said Uganda is getting overwhelmed by the high number of refugees flocking the country and that matters are not helped by the limited resources. He said because of the huge numbers, sometimes Uganda has fallen short in service delivery for the refugees. 

“Uganda has limited resources to facilitate the needs of refugees but because of empathy, Uganda shall never stop hosting refugees because at the end we are all Africans,” Otafiire said.

"If we constantly agree in politics it becomes a church, they say 'clap' you clap, 'stand' you stand, disagree and go to hell. We politicians need disagree without fighting each other so as we don't create refugee situations." he added. 

The minister said this while launching a report on rule of law, access to justice and security needs for refugees and host communities of Arua and Isingiro districts at the Sheraton Hotel Kampala last week.

Arua hosts refugees mainly from South Sudan while the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Isingiro district hosts refugees mainly from Somalia, DR Congo, Ethiopia and Rwanda. The report was done by the Legal Aid Service Provider’s Network (Laspnet) with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

According to the report Uganda hosts the largest community of refugees in Africa (1.2 million) but many of them lack access to justice. UNHCR country representative to Uganda Joel Boutrou said it’s his organisation’s obligation to protect rights of refugees and support host states to promote the rule of law, access to justice and security for refugees.

He mentioned that the biggest problem they face as UNHCR is lack of enough security where one policeman is in charge of protecting 3000 refugees yet some are living in hostile communities that feel threatened by the idea of losing their land to settle refugees.

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Comments

+2 #1 WADADA roger 2019-03-11 11:39
The open entry system of refugees to Uganda was initially intended to show the world that Ugandans are good hearted kumbe wapi, we had sinister motives including increasing the number of monitored voters and foreign funding which we always diverted.

I have never known any country that acts so stupid like Uganda. Whereas other countries are chasing away refugees, Uganda has opened its doors wide open, nobody saw this as a future problem except some of us who stood up against the decision but all in vain because nobody listens to us, its time to regret.
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0 #2 Samuel 2019-03-11 17:04
Wadada, empowered refugeess like those in Uganda add to the total number of consumers and labourers some even bring their capital to our country and when they relocate they relocate back to their home countries they act as economic attaches for Uganda.

Also the cultural and genetic addition enriches us Uganda.

In summary refugee economically benefit Uganda only problem is if they come very many in a very short time can they cause some serious damage
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+1 #3 kabayekka 2019-03-11 17:23
Wadada you have a point about refugees until you become a refugee yourself. The minister of Uganda is only talking shop with the UN for requesting international money for this country.

Most African refugees would love to stay in their respective countries but as this minister says that the UN, and the African Union badly want these refugees to go back to their countries as soon as possible, the African politicians do not want that sort of scenario to happen.

The African politicians would rather have all those African dissidents go away to other countries and stay there other than have them back to cause trouble for their dictatorial governments.
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+1 #4 WADADA roger 2019-03-11 20:27
Readers, i have been to many Refugee camps in northern Uganda, Toro region and nakivale refugee camp in Isinigiro many of whom have come from Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and of course South Sudan.

Am also aware that many of us are potential refugee given the fact that our democratic values are going down day by day.

Most refugees who stay in camps are those who had nothing in their home countries and add no value to Uganda except being used to take money from donors and later swindled.

Keeping them in protected camps, giving them food, security, clothing and medicines makes them so comfortable, they would never have any reason to want to go back more so that their countries of origin are now safer, in fact safer than Uganda.

Many of them now have national IDs for Uganda, Passports etc and you think these have intentions of going back home, NEVER
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+1 #5 Kelly 2019-03-12 09:38
Samuel .
“Empowered refugees like those in Uganda add to the total number of consumers and labourers..”. Really? My emphasis is on the “empowerment”.

I don’t understand what you mean here but I guess empowerment is a process and involves resources and time.

Now do we need foreigners to be empowered in our country to increase on consumption and output?

What resources do we have to provide the empowerment we need? How about having our borders more open to trade and exchange workforce with our neighbors?

And what are the potentials of these refugees to merit empowerment? Don’t forget that some time back when we “empowered” and deployed some refugees from the South West, what they didn’t do to their country back and now kicking us in the teeth!

Oh rather technocrats in OPM would love to see more refugees because that means more allowances, workshops, aid distributions hence more mansions and apartments for them
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0 #6 Lakwena 2019-03-12 14:47
In other words, what a mockery. Between 1980 and 2005, the Otafiire of this country resorted to war in order to gain absolute power. E.g. how many Northern Uganda fled to the UK and Sweden during that period.

For how years did the people of Northern become refugees in their own country forced and confined into IDP Camps, where 1,000 children died per week, for 25 years?

From 1980, to date the Otafiire of this do not resolve Uganda's political differences without resorting to violence and war mongering.

How in the world, can people like Otafiire who came from hell tell anybody or counsels anybody about peace and solving political conflict thru peaceful means?

Thank God I don't have a long invisible arm and clawing fingers. I would have strangled Otafiire in his sleep.
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0 #7 Lakwena 2019-03-13 08:20
Quoting kabayekka:
... Most African refugees would love to stay in their respective countries but as this minister says that the UN, and the African Union badly want these refugees to go back to their countries as soon as possible, the African politicians do not want that sort of scenario to happen.

The African politicians would rather have all those African dissidents go away to other countries and stay there other than have them back to cause trouble for their dictatorial governments.


kabayekka, the current refugee phenomena is strategic: displace, disorient, and dispossess. E.g. in Luweero, how many have now lost their ancestral land to modern day settlers from Western Uganda?

In other words, after 20-30 years in refugee camps or refuge in other countries, most of the South Sudanese and/or Congolese will have been dispossessed of their land back home.
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0 #8 Lakwena 2019-03-13 08:29
E.g. I have some Rwandese friends who since their parents fled Rwanda in 1959; they can't go back because there is nowhere to return to.

They know no relatives nor the friends of their parents. It is sad, because these people are not only stranded, but also stateless.

Those who went back via force of arms, simply grabbed wherever they have currently settled. I am sure, even Kagame didn't know where he was going.

In other words, wherever Mr. Kagame and others have settled, must have been grabbed. With the former owners either dead, or somewhere in refugee camps: either in Uganda or DR Congo.
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