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Uganda now home to over 23,000 Sudanese Refugees – Douglas Asiimwe

By Henry Okurut
On a sunny Tuesday afternoon at Kiryandongo Refugee Reception Center in North Western Uganda, Douglas Asiimwe, the Commissioner for Refugee Management in the Office of the Prime Minister is on a mission.
He is here to supervise and oversee the process of registering, documenting and feeding of all arriving Refugees.

A Youthful Male Refugee from Sudan relaxes in Tent Mounted at Kiryandongo Reception Center

Most of them are from Sudan Khartoum and the number has been growing over time leaving Ugandan authorities with no choice but to accommodate them.
“We are currently receiving Sudanese refugees, registering them and issuing them documentation and feeding them, providing them initial humanitarian assistance and medical screening and all these services”, Says Asiimwe.
This is being done before the refugees are relocated and allocated to their settlement areas within their refugee settlement.
“So at the reception center, we are trying to work around the clock to make sure that we decongest the reception center, which is currently having about 900 people against its capacity of 600”, Notes Asiimwe.
During the tour of the reception Center, We see unaccompanied children, extremely vulnerable individuals and people with special needs who need a lot of support.
According to Asiimwe, they need shelter construction and support especially the old women and the single headed female households.
Unfortunately, some of the refugees being received are more of urban based dwellers who are said to be finding it hard to adapt to a rural settlement life.
Asiimwe says some are going to rent in towns but when their resources dwindle, they come back.
“So we have to deal with issues of shelter, especially for the single headed female households, elderly and children so that people can settle down.
Ever since the war broke out in Sudan, 23,663 Refugees from North Sudan have been registered in Uganda.
“Most of these Sudanese are entering through Elegu border through South Sudan. Their first point of our contact has been a reception facility in Adjumani called Nyumanzi, and we do first level one registration there”, Clarifies Asiimwe.

This they do before they [Refugees] are transported to Kiryandongo Reception Center and subsequently settlement.
Some of the Sudanese Refugees we speak to narrate their ordeal asking fighting groups back home to end the Conflict.
Sixty One Old Al-Hajja Rashid lost her forty one old son in the war and was robbed on her way while fleeing the conflict. She ended up in Uganda where she feels at home.
“I ask My God to end the war in Sudan”, Says Al-Hajja.
On average, about 300 Sudanese Refugees have been arriving in Uganda in the last five Months.
Asiimwe says the Refugee Department of the Office of the Prime Minister is managing successfully.
“And we are clearing and getting their documentations instantly and enjoying their refugee status and rights immediately”, concludes Asiimwe.

Sudanese Refugees line up for Food at Kiryandongo Reception Center
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