Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Districts in Northern Uganda bordering volatile South Sudan have continued to register a surge in numbers of refugees crossing from the Africa’s youngest nation.
Figures from refugee influx dashboard compiled by UNHCR and Office of the Prime Minister shows some 3,554 South Sudan refugees crossed in the region in the last two months alone.
Latest statistics shared by UNHCR on December 5th reveals a total of 1,387 refugees crossed from South Sudan into Northern Uganda as of November 30th. Some 2,167 crossed in the region as of October 31st this year.
According to the report, the refugees crossed from the four border entry points of Madi-opei, Aweno Olwi, Ngomoromo and Waligo in Lamwo, Elegu in Amuru district, Kuluba, Oraba, Busia and Osea in Koboko, and Gobola, Keyi and Kerwa in Yumbe.
The figures show a relatively high increase in the numbers of refugees crossing into the region since September when only 900 refugees were registered in the four districts.
For instance, in November, Koboko district registered 584, Yumbe district had 242 refugees, 414 crossed in Amuru and 147 in Lamwo district with a daily average influx of 46 refugees.
Julius Kamuza, the Palabek Settlement Commandant told URN in an interview on Thursday that the influx could be a result of long awaited formation of a unity government between President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar.
He says some of refugees due to fear of threats of violence end up crossing to the neighbouring countries seeking for refuge.
Kamuza however notes that this December, refugee entry into Lamwo district has been minimal adding that daily average has been between 15 to 20 refugees crossing from the four entry points.
He says some 210 refugees are currently at a reception centre in the district pending relocation to settlement centres.
Titus Jogo, the Refugee Desk Officer at Office of the Prime Minister in Adjuman district on the other hand says some of the refugees are crossing to reunite with their family members.
He notes that despite the high influx, it’s been hard for OPM to determine exactly the driving factor since they are received under Prima facie arrangement.
Yumbe and Adjumani Districts hosts some of the largest population of South Sudan refugees standing at 440,095 as of November 30th this year while Lamwo hosts 51,590 refugees.
Hundreds of Thousands of South Sudan nationals fled the country to neighbouring countries ever since violence broke out between President Salva Kiir loyalists and those of his former Vice President Riek Machar in 2013.
Some 857,268, South Sudan refugees are currently seeking refuge in various settlement centres in Uganda.