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Over 40 houses torched, dozens injured in ethnic refugee clashes

Some of the refugees fleeing a fresh fight between Nuer and Kuku ethic communities in Palorinya settlement

Obongi, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  More than 40 houses have been torched and dozens of refugees injured in Palorinya settlement camp in Obongi district following ethnic clashes between the Nuer and Kuku community members.   

The fight erupted around 7pm on Monday night after a Nuer teenager from Itula Sub County was accused of stealing maize from a garden belonging to a member of the Kuku ethnic group in Dama village. He was assaulted and rushed home crying, which attracted the attention of his tribes mates. 

They mobilized and launched a revenge attack against the Kuku. The situation degenerated into a large scale fight throughout the night of Monday spilling over to Tuesday. 

The fight forced hundreds of Nuer mainly children and women to flee the camps and seek refugee among the host communities, Itula Sub County and a local Primary School.   

Hassan Kaps Fungaroo, the Obongi County Member of parliament rushed to Palorinya and spoke to URN about the clash. 

Ali Lomure, the Itula Sub County LC 3 chairperson, says police fired tear gas at the onset of the fight to try and stop it without success. 

Titus Jogoo, the Refugee Desk Officer Palorinya, says the army and police are currently managing the situation, adding that the Office of the Prime Minister will sensitize the leaders of the refugees once the fight subsides.

This is the second time the two communities are clashing. Early this year, the Kuku and Nuer community members clashed after a Nuer man stole a mobile phone belonging to a member of the Kuku clan that was charging. 

The situation calmed down following the intervention of security.   According to reports from security circles, since the character of violence and aggression is deeply rooted in the refugee communities, more fights are expected.



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