Communities Turn Away Congolese Refugees

2026 Views Bundibugyo, Uganda

In short
Sam Mbahimba, a refugee from Kamango Village, says that he will return to his home when he is guaranteed security by UPDF and Congolese army. He explains that for the past four days, he has struggled to feed his family of five children.

Communities in Bundibugyo district have declined to accommodate Congolese refugees.  On Friday night, more than 800 Congolese refugees entered Uganda through Busunga border post following a raid by Uganda People's Defense Force- UPDF on the base of the rebel Allied Democratic Forces- ADF in Eastern DRC.

The attack was in retaliation to the killing of 15 United Nations peace keepers. On Monday, 500 more refugees entered Kasiri, Bundibugoma and Butungo villages in Nyahuka Sub County hoping to get shelter and support from the community.  

However, residents turned away the refugees and told them to return to their homes. Edward Baluku, the LC3 Chairperson Bubandi town council says that some of the refugees are still stranded because they have nowhere to go.  Baluku explains that refugees have been told to return to their homes after the UPDF stopped its operations in Eastern DRC. 

He adds that they were planning to transfer some of the refugees to Bubandi Sub County, but they halted the plans due to lack of funds and poor sanitation at the headquarters.

//Cue in: "the problem of sanitation...

Cue out: "...sub county headquarters. "// 


Moses Mbambu, a resident of Nyahuka town council says that on Christmas day,  he turned away three Congolese families that had sought refuge at his home. He says that since he is unemployed, he can't afford looking after the refugees, saying they will be an extra burden to his family.  

Sam Mbahimba, a refugee from Kamango Village, says that he will return to his home when he is guaranteed security by UPDF and Congolese army. He explains that for the past four days, he has struggled to feed his family of five children. 


//Cue in: "not taken... 

Cue out:  "...going home."//


Ronald Mutegeki, the Bundibugyo District LC5 Chairperson says that the refugees have been told to either return to their homes or go to the transit center at Bubukwanga, which has adequate sanitary facilities and can access food from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees- UNHCR. 

Mutegeki also says that the district is yet to receive relief assistance from the Office of the Prime Minister. 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.