More than 1000 Congolese nationals fleeing tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo have crossed to Uganda through the lake Albert in Kikuube district.
The refugees arrived last week and are already at the Kyangwali refugees’ settlement area in Kyangwali sub-county in the Kikuube district.
Jonbosco Kyaligonza, the Settlement commandant at Kyangwali refugee’s settlement area told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that the refugees including women, children, and men reported to the settlement area on Thursday and Friday last week.
He said they received 1,100 refugees from DRC who are fleeing fresh clashes between the lendu and the Bagegere.
Kyaligonza explained that they are expecting more refugees who crossed and were received at the Bubukwanga reception center in Bundibugyo district and are being transported to the Kyangwali refugees’ settlement area.
He said despite the closure of Uganda’s borders due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the new arrivals were given special consideration given the harsh situation in their home country.
According to Kyaligonza, currently, they have embarked on documenting the refugees, assigning them status and settling them on land.
This is not the first time the Congolese nationals are fleeing tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere.
In February 2018, more than 6000 Congolese nationals fleeing tribal clashes between the Lendu and Bagegere landed at Sebigoro and Nkondo reception centers in Kabwoya and Kyangwali Sub Counties in Kikuube district.
They were later transferred to the Kyangwali refugees’ settlement area. Kyangwali refugee’s settlement currently has 13,348, 97 percent of whom are Congolese nationals.
Rwandan nationals contribute 2 percentage while the south Sudanese, Sudanese, Kenyans and Ethiopians contribute the remaining percentage.