Kenya Post-election Crisis refugees Still Stuck In Uganda.

2511 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Musa Francis Ecweru, the state Minister for Disaster preparedness says the refugees refused to be repatriated due to the trauma they witnessed during the violence that erupted between supporters of former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement who alleged gross electoral manipulation by the then incumbent Mwai Kibaki.

At least 1,500 Kenyan refugees are still stuck in Uganda, six years after fleeing post-election violence in Kenya. The refugees were settled in Kiryandongo District alongside Bududa landslide victims.

Musa Francis Ecweru, the state Minister for Disaster preparedness says the refugees refused to be repatriated due to the trauma they witnessed during the violence that erupted between supporters of former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga of the Orange Democratic Movement who alleged gross electoral manipulation by the then incumbent Mwai Kibaki.

The political, economic and humanitarian crisis erupted after incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner of the presidential election held on December 27, 2007 displacing an estimated 250,000 people and 1,500 others killed.

 But in November 2012, a tripartite agreement was signed in Kigali between Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate voluntary repatriation of refugees.

However, Echweru says the refugees are still traumatized and are undergoing rehabilitation in preparation for repatriation.  Uganda needs to reduce the number of refuges in the country because it is apparently constrained, Ecweru says.

He adds that although the birth of South Sudan ushered in a wave of relief, the joy was short-lived by influx of DR Congo refugees fleeing fighting between rebel M23 and Congolese government.

// Cue in “We had started celebrating when …………………………………..”//
// Cue out “…………………………………..…….tell them home is now okay//

According to the UNHCR, declaration of the cessation clause stipulates that a person recognised as a refugee will either voluntarily return to the country of origin or apply for residence in the host country. The refugees could be naturalised if they meet the criteria in the laws of the host country.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.