About 4000 refugees from Sudan and Kenya are stranded at Kiryandongo refugee settlement camp located 250 kms north of Uganda’s capital Kampala.
Whereas the government of Uganda wants them to go back to their countries, the Sudanese and Kenyan refugees say that they fear going back to their countries. They claim that they are likely to become victims of political persecution if they returned home.
According to, Julius Timbe, Kiryandongo settlement camp official, the Sudanese refugees were resettled there over 15 years ago due to the civil war in their country at the time. He also said that Kenyans were resettled at the camp shortly after the 2007 post election violence in Kenya.
Timbe says, “There is now peace in the two coutries but the refugees have refused to go back. They claim that the current regimes in those countries have failed to guarantee their safety.”
Peter Kajara, chairman of Kenyan refugees at Kiryandongo refugee settlement is one of those who have vowed not to return to Kenya. Kajara said, “I am contented with where I am. I can not return to Kenya now because nothing has changed in Kenya. There is still tribalism and land conflicts in Kenya.”
Similarly, Sudanese refugees in Kiryandongo also say that they fear returning to their homeland due to insecurity.
The cordinator of Sudanese refugees, Steven Obori said, “We are not assured of security if we return to southern sudan. We hear on radios that there are still tribal wars there which claim many lives. We would rather stay here than going back to suffer, due to conflicts.”
Timbe however said that some Sudanese and Kenyans from other refugee camps in Uganda have voluntarily returned home although he could not give their exact number.
Uganda hosts about 100,000 refugees from Rwanda, Ethopia, Somalia, Eritrea, Kenya and Sudan. They live in various refugee camps scattered all over the country.