Bundibugyo district authorities are tracing refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR). Congo entered illegally and went on to mix with the local communities. Bundibugyo is currently home to over 10,000 Congolese refugees fleeing attacks by the rebel Allied Democratic Forces-ADF in the eastern parts of their home country.
Most of the refugees have refused to move to the Bubukwanga Transit Camp, about 30 kilometres from the Busunga reception centre at the border post, despite facing serious safety and hygiene issues and a lack of food. There are fears that hundreds of refugees have moved in with relatives without being checked out or registered.
Umar Muhanguzi, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner in Bundibugyo, says that village chairmen have been told to check on their residents and record all refugees in their areas.
Muhanguzi warns that all refugees must be in a designated place or else they will return to their home country. Busunga town council clerk, Jackline Kobusinge, says that the reception center lacks safe water and latrines, which puts the lives of both the refugees and the local population at risk. She has welcomed the decision to transfer all refugees to the transit camp as a measure to mitigate any health risks.
Hedwig Arinitwe, the acting commandant of the Bubukwanga refugee transit center, says that once all refugees are in a designated place, it helps the government and partners plan for them more efficiently.