from HASSAN ONYANGO in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – MORE than 20 000 refugees have crossed the border to Uganda over the past fortnight following heavy clashes between the Congolese national army and rebel groups.
The army is battling the M23 rebels and militants of the Allied Democratic Forces in North Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Refugees have crossed to Uganda in the east since March 28.
While 12 000 Congolese refugees are now reported in the Holding and Transit centres in Kisoro district, an undetermined number of refugees, estimated 15 000 to 20 000, are still staying in the streets of Bunagana.
Tensions with the ADF led to 4 000 new arrivals during this past weekend.
This has stretched an emergency response along the border with DRC.
This influx of refugees comes in addition to 9 000 South Sudanese who arrived since the beginning of the year, bringing the total number of refugees to 1,6 million.
Humanitarian partners have mobilised to respond to the situation.
“However, emergency funding is necessary,” said a humanitarian spokesperson.
Humanitarian agencies are planning to release a flash appeal in the coming days.
Uganda’s policies for refugees are widely praised and described as a model of development-based assistance for other countries to emulate.
– CAJ News