JUBA – The Ugandan government has called on South Sudanese government to mobilize resources to support the welfare of its refugees in the neighbouring East African country.
Kampala says the presence of refugees mainly from South Sudan and DRC is posting an extra burden on the government while their governments contribute nothing to their welfare.
Uganda’s Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Esther Anyakun Davina said it was time South Sudan and DRC begin resource mobilisation and send Uganda.
“South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo must begin to mobilise resources and send it to Uganda, because it is us who are keeping, feeding and hosting these refugees. It is us Uganda doing everything, so these countries must start mobilising resources and send it to Uganda for refugee response,” Ms Anyakun told members of Ugandan parliament.
Uganda claims that as of February 2022, the country had a total of 1,595,405 refugees, 964,960 were from South Sudan. The number has since grown, with more than 35,000 new arrivals in March and April from DRC.
Daily Monitor reported Tuesday that during a meeting with the steering group of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF) on Wednesday in Kampala, Anyakun said now is the time for the countries whose citizens have been forced to flee to Uganda to start supporting them across the borders.
Uganda has had an open-door policy for refugees and asylum seekers from other countries at war. But Ms Anyakun said the policy is being exploited by the neighbouring countries who have failed to secure the lives of their citizens.
“Something must be done and it has to be taken to another level in terms of engagement and in terms of resource mobilisation because we are not going to be strained,” she warned.
South Sudan has been engulfed by years of conflict characterised by a controversial intervention from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
Uganda says with the ongoing war in Ukraine, donations have dropped as donors shifted their focus to help Ukranians.
“Uganda has fulfilled all the pledges it made, donors have fulfilled all the pledges they made, but the current emergency issue is beyond our capacity. That’s why I am asking the governments from other countries to start mobilising resources and send to Uganda so that we can help them because all donors are now looking at the war in Ukraine,” she said.
Engaging warring factions
Anyakun called for regional efforts to engage the warring factions to come to a roundtable to resolve their differences. She also said the governance issues in the respective countries must also be addressed through dialogue.
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