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Kasese security teams demand closure of camps as violence emerges

IDPs at Kasese primary schools recieving a meal

Kasese, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Security teams forces in Kasese District have asked the government to expedite the closure of internally displaced people’s camps in the area as cases of violence emerge.

Up to 4,000 people are still trapped in camps after floods which devastated the district in May. The catastrophe which came after River Nyamwamba and several other rivers burst their banks, left more than 90,000 people displaced into camps and properties destroyed.    

But security leaders in the district have pointed out that women and young girls are suffering sexual abuse within the camps.  Rwenzori East Regional Police Commander Samuel Asiimwe says that the police have received a series of complaints of sexual violence which need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. 

Without giving details of figures of cases received, Asiimwe says they are set to carry out a thorough audit. But, he hastens to add, people must be resettled into their homes, to avoid a worst-case scenario.   

The police commander also fears that the large concentration of people in camps is breeding a fertile ground for the spread of COVID-19.       

The chairperson of Kitoro cell Thembo Isaiah says he has received over 30 cases related to domestic violence from some of the displaced families in his area.        

Pastor Allan Bahibwa, a resident of Kanyangeya village says mothers in camps have resorted to prostitution in order to fend for their children. He says the current state if not controlled might brew more cases of domestic violence and diseases.      

Kasese Chief administrative Officer Aggrey Muramira says the district has already started the process of resettling the communities and closing the camps.  Muramira notes that they have encouraged relatives of the displaced to accommodate them as the district finds a way to handle those that lost their houses and have nowhere to return to.

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