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Landlords demand UGX 15 Billion for hosting refugees in Rhino camp

Rhino camp. URN photo

Madi-Okollo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A group of people claiming ownership of land hosting refugees in Madi-Okollo district, are demanding over 15 billion Shillings in compensation from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Under their umbrella, Oluba Community Development Association (OCDA), the group is accusing the Office of the Prime Minister of settling refugees on their land without their consent. The land has hosted refugees for more than 10 years.

The land in question covers the areas of Aringaze, Amangua, Katiku, Eden, Alinyiri, Iwadromadi, and Abiricenduku, all in Rigbo sub-county and it currently hosts refugees under the Rhino camp settlement. The settlement is home to 142,013 refugees and asylum seekers, according to records by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Faruk Andati, the chairperson of the association says that their land has been destroyed, and their own livelihood distorted, yet they are not getting any support from the government.

Morris Draciga, another landlord wonders why their hospitality has been paid back by human rights abuse, marginalization and land grabbing.

But Jenna Toma, the Deputy Refugee Desk Officer at the Office of Prime Minister in Arua says that there is already an ongoing mediation with the Oluba community over the demands. The arbitration is a result of a suit filed last year by the landlords through Buga and Company advocates.

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