AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Bishop of Yei's appeal: "Protect South Sudanese refugees in Uganda from unlawful attacks"

Monday, 29 August 2022 refugees   violence   bishops  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "The international community represented by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, should take note of the fact that politicians go to the camps to make false promises to the refugees there," said Bishop Alex Lodiong, Bishop of Yei, South Sudan, calling on Kampala authorities and international organizations to protect South Sudanese refugees seeking protection in Uganda from "unlawful attacks".
In particular, he refers to the visits of some South Sudanese politicians to the detention centers in an attempt to sow discord or to recruit fighters for their militias.
"I would like to bring this to the attention of the Prime Minister's Office, who is charged by the Ugandan government with taking care of our refugees, and the international community, represented by UNCHR," says the Bishop of Lei. "If you see a politician or a person bringing weapons into these camps, arrest them". The bishop warns of "people who come with weapons and confuse our people who have taken refuge here".
Bishop Lodiong also called on the Ugandan government not to collaborate with the government of South Sudan in detaining opposition leaders who have sought refuge in their country. "Some dissidents were also followed into the cities, arrested and killed. We hope that there was no cooperation from the Ugandan government to allow these people to be arrested in this way; let's hope not, because these people went to Uganda to save themselves", he said.
Archbishop Lodiong launched this appeal during his pastoral visit to the Palorinya refugee settlement in Arua, created in December 2016 in Moyo district, in the West Nile region of Uganda. The camp currently hosts some 166,000 South Sudanese refugees in a total area of more than 37 square kilometers and is currently closed to new arrivals. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/8/2022)