Uganda a “refugee paradise” – really?

The way the government of the Republic of Uganda is accommodating refugees fleeing political violence from neighboring countries like South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had received massive attention from the media and other international humanitarian organizations, but does that give it a credit to be called “a refugee paradise?”

By Lotara Charles

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Earlier this year (2017), the Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary General, Jan Egeland, urged European countries to emulate the immigration and refugee policy of the East African country after it was reported that the country is hosting half a million refugees mainly from South Sudan, though the figure increased with booing 500,000 more refugees entering Uganda.

However, it is not just a question of hosting an influx of refugees but the assistance which these internally displaced persons get from their so-called paradise.

Media reports reveal that some of these refugees, especially the ones fleeing violence from South Sudan do not have proper protection as rebel forces follow them even in their “paradise” and harass them while the national security pays no attention to their atrocities.

In paradise, the poor, women and children have proper and adequate basic needs for sustainability but this is the missing piece in that “paradise” as hundreds of thousands of refugees from those neighboring countries are being forced to go back to their respective violent-stricken countries simply because enough food and shelter are not provided in the “paradise.”

Noteworthy, refugees who choose to go to those camps in Uganda do so not because they want, but because it is their last and only option, and this is exactly the opposite with a real paradise where people willing and joyfully choose to be there.

The Ugandan government might boast for hosting a large influx of refugees from different angles of the continent but that does not qualify that Museveni’s autocratic state a “paradise.”

Before piling an unnecessary praise by the international humanitarian organizations and the media, it is important to trace the history of millions of refugees who were horrendously murdered and buried in mass graves in the so-called paradise and these were mainly South Sudanese citizens.

The world might keep pouring flowery language on the East African country, but the untold and undocumented stories of horrendous carnage and human debris of South Sudanese nationals in Uganda will forever linger in my mind. I am writing this out of experience and from my standpoint, the Republic of Uganda is not close to something called paradise!

Lotara Charles is a student Journalist at Great Zimbabwe University. He writes here at his own capacity. Have questions? Contact charles@thenewdayonline.com

Follow him on Twitter @lotaracharles

 

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