Uganda’s Plea to the International Community to...
Following this report, releasing a statement on 17 August, Amnesty International stressed, the international community must be committed to existing financial commitments to help Uganda in being host to this number of refugees.
The civil war in South Sudan, which is one of African oil producing countries, began over two years ago at the same time as its independence from Sudan. The conflict has caused for ethnic divisions and widespread famine to appear. Also according to international organizations, this conflict has created the biggest refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide in 1994, to-date.
In this regard Amnesty International says, “The continued violence in South Sudan, particularly following the spread of clashes, since July 2016 have greatly increased the number of South Sudanese refugees and resulted in the fleeing of thousands of people to Uganda.”
Amnesty International has produced documented evidence of extrajudicial killings, sexual violence, detention, torture, intentional destruction of private and public property, the use of food as a tool of war, and other serious human rights violations in South Sudan; and has stated that most of the refugees are women and children who have fled brutal violence in South Sudan. According to the UN, on average 1800 people per day have arrived in Uganda from South Sudan in the past year.
UNICEF announce that over one million children were forced to leave South Sudan, and another one million children are internally displaced in the country.
Sarah Jackson, the regional director Amnesty International in the East Africa and Horn of Africa and the great lakes regions, said in this regard: “The fleeing of one million refugees to Uganda is a turning point to the alertness of the international community, in order for it to get involved more than in the past, without the international community’s attention to the South Sudan disputes, refugees will continue to be forced to escape to Uganda, and this will escalate the human crisis in this country.”
She added, “The Ugandan government, the UN and nongovernmental organizations are trying to while providing fundamental needs for these refugees such as food, water and shelter, to provide correct response to their other needs such as mental and social support for those who have suffered greatly.”
According to published reports, Uganda takes approximately 2000 South Sudanese each day and it is expected till the end of 2017, four-hundred thousand people to enter the country, which is already suffering from economic problems, but the borders of the country have not been closed to the refugees.
According to the UN, in the Solidarity Conference which was held in June in the Ugandan capital Kampala, those attending the Conference committed to assist Uganda in responding to urgent and long-term needs of the refugees. It was determined that 960 million dollars be allocated for humanitarian aid, but it was stressed than more money was needed to solve the problems.
In this regard, the UNHCR reassured that, “the time has come where the rest of the countries must take on their share of the responsibility and to make further efforts to reduce the pressures on Uganda.
Sarah Jackson also said: “The failure to do this, will undermine the refugee policies in Uganda and can even further threaten the current human crisis that we are witnessing.”
According to her, “To prevent the fleeing of refugees from the country also, international and regional players must take necessary measures to halt the violation of the rights of civilians in South Sudan.”
According to the UNHCR, to-date thousands have been killed in the South Sudan civil war and millions displaced. According to this UN body, for a short period earlier this year, South Sudan even experienced famine as a result of the violence and civil war.
By: Marzieh Aziziyan