We won’t kick out S. Sudan refugees, says minister

Monday May 9 2016

Mr Ecweru

Mr Ecweru 

By JULIUS OCUNGI

KIRYANDONGO- State Minister for Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru has assured South Sudanese refugees that government will not force them out of the country despite the formation of a unity government back home.

Mr Ecweru said although South Sudan president Salvar Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar are working together in a unity government, it doesn’t guarantee stability for refugees to return to Africa’s youngest nation.

While addressing the refugees at the Resettlement Camp Cluster A in Mutunda Sub-county, Kiryandongo District, last week, the minister said the refugees will only return to their country when government is convinced that the security situation there is normal.

“We shall study the situation in South Sudan first. We can’t force those (refugees) to leave now. Working with the United Nations, we shall monitor the situation,” Mr Ecweru said.

Government plan
“We want to initiate a programme where the refugees’ leaders will visit the various villages back home and get convinced of peace in their country before they are taken back,” he added.

The minister said refugee youth will be equipped with conflict resolution skills to eradicate the tribal differences that characterised the civil unrest in 2013.

On Monday, US Ambassador Deborah R. Malac launched a Shs3.8 billion project to promote cross-border peacebuilding between Uganda and South Sudanese refugee youth.

There are about 50,000 South Sudanese refugees in Kiryandongo Resettlement Camp.

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