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Rapid Response Payment Request No. 05/2012
Funds Sent To: Lutheran World Federation Uganda Program
Amount Sent: 57,964 USD
Date: 31 May, 2012
Emergency: Rwanwanja, Congolese Refugee Support
Date of Emergency: last week of May 2012 (ongoing)
Requesting Member(s): LWF with support of Uganda ACT forum
After three years of relative peace, conflict has returned to North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) causing many Congolese to flee to neighbouring Uganda and Rwanda. The Congolese government has been at war with a rebel group who were integrated into the national army under a 2009 peace deal but later defected, complaining of poor conditions. The rebel group began defecting in early April and have formed a new military group called the March 23 Movement (M23), comprising of former National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) members. Disgruntled former CNDP commander Bosco Ntagandam who wants to overthrow the government, leads the M23 rebel group. Ntaganda is known as ‘The Terminator’ and is indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes including enlisting children as soldiers. As a result of this conflict, tens of thousands of Congolese are fleeing to the neighbouring countries of Rwanda and Uganda. Some of the key reasons for flight include pre- and post-election harassment and violence; harassment from unidentified armed groups and government troops; fear or rumours of imminent attacks; and abduction and/or looting by armed groups at night. Some of the stories narrated by the new arrivals are horrific with reports of sexual and gender-based violence affecting both women and men (Aljazeera).
In Uganda, the policy for refugees is settlement; meaning refugees are given a plot of land to re-establish themselves instead of living in a camp setting. As such, a transit camp was established in the border town of Kisoro where refugees are registered upon entry into Uganda and then later ferried, if they wish, to resettlement sites around the country, the main settlement being Rwamwanja.
For the full description of the response, please click here.