Fresh Refugee Influx as Militants Drop Warning Leaflets

1565 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson of Machar, says Salva Kiirs anti-peace soldiers have continued to attack our gallant forces in locations in Central, Eastern and Western Equatorial states.

There is a fresh influx of refugees into Uganda from South Sudan following increased attacks and abductions on village in Central Equatorial state. Titus Jogo, the Refugee Desk Officer in Charge of Adjuman says at least 1500 refugees have been entering Uganda daily through Koboko for the past one week from between 200 and 300 previously.

He says most of the new cases are from Yei where there is renewed fighting. "Most of the refugees say there are attacks on villages and these attacks are indiscriminate to civilians by unknown gunmen." says Jogo. David Kazungu, the Commissioner for Refugees in the office of the Prime Minister says they received 3400 refugees in Oraba within a space of three days, saying they will be transferred to Rhino camp.
He says Government is working had to decongest the different settlement camps to ensure that the refugees are well managed and catered for. Charlie Yaxley, the Associate External relations officer UNHCR, says there is heavy fighting in Equatorial State, which is pushing people to flee. He says reports from the refugees fleeing into Uganda indicate that civilians are being arrested while suspected supporters of the two warring sides are being abducted.
Yaxley says they militants are also distributing leaflets with threatening messages to residents. "They are distributing leaflets with messages warning people to flee or else they face danger, and boys as young as 12 are being kidnapped from schools by militants. So there is a general atmosphere of fear in especially in Equatorial state" Yaxley states.  

There is reported fighting in some parts of South Sudan especially the Central, Western and Eastern Equatorial arising from the pursuit of forces loyal to Riek Machar, the former South Sudan first vice president by government troops. James Gatdet Dak, the spokesperson of Machar, says "Salva Kiir's anti-peace soldiers have continued to attack our gallant forces in locations in Central, Eastern and Western Equatorial states. They will soon regret this warmongering action."

Attempts to speak to Michael Makuei, the South Sudan Government spokesperson were futile as he could not answer his phone by the time of filing this story. Fighting broke out in the South Sudan Capital Juba on July 7th following clashes between forces loyal to Machar and President Salva Kiir. At least 1.6million people have since been displaced.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.