todayJune 7, 2023

By Kaleb Yiiki

Arua City

Urban Persons of Concern, known as refugees, living in Arua City and beyond, have been called upon to desist from importing Wars from South Sudan into Uganda.

In 2022, a census was carried out in the Central Division in Arua City and the census report revealed that, of the 60,795 Residents in Arua Central Division, 78% are Nationals, whereas, 10.3% are Persons of Concern called Refugees, and 10.5% are Internal Migrants, while 0.7% of the Residents have Missing Migration Status.

Monika Nyoka, A south Sudanese Living in Arua City says she designs Table Clothes to supplement the rations she receives from OPM since fending for the family while Living in the City has a lot of challenges. ”Even if you are Educated you cannot get a job as a refugee and yet the living costs on Rent and School fees are high with so many things”. She decried.

Solomon Osakan, the Refugee Desk Officer West Nile, says the Constitution of the Republic Uganda gives ownership of land to the natives. This therefore means that, for Refuges to settle in urban areas, Municipal and City Authorities will be required to carry out negotiations with Landlords to acquire Land to settle the Urban Refugees, yet the Refugee Law in Uganda bans Settlement for Refugees in the Urban Areas in order to avoid Slum development in Towns and Cities. He continues to say that as refugees come to the City, they will want cheap houses that are affordable and manageable, and then, they end up in a slum. “As you all know that slums have challenges of Crime and proneness to Disease outbreaks. So as Office of the prime minister, we wouldn’t like to see slums growing everywhere in the city because of the Influx of Refugees in the city.” He advised.

Malish Ongira, the Executive Director SSURA, outlines how they run their Activities in order to realize improvement of labor market integration for migrants and displaced persons targeting 14,000 Women and Youth living in Arua City with Support from Cites Alliance. He reveals that they have planned to create 560 groups which shall be trained in Financial Literacy skills, offer mentorship in Business management training.  This is just to empower them to ensure that they succeed in Business.

He introduced Equity bank as a financial service providing partner, which shall be responsible for the aforementioned activities to certify the groups to be given startup capital in terms of loans. “Let’s come together, talk to ourselves, and at the same time to educate ourselves to understand the laws in Uganda and to support our brothers and sisters in getting legal assistance.” He advises.

Alice Akello, the Resident City Commissioner for Arua City, cautions the person of concern in Arua City against hooliganism but encourages women in Arua City to shun Laziness but embrace hard Work and she reveals that if every woman can work, we can transform this nation and God will bless the labor of our hands. “Don’t import wars from elsewhere and bring them to Arua. Once you’re here, you are in a different environment and we are here to take care of you.” she recommended.

COVER PHOTO: Alice Akello RCC Arua Addressing Urban Refugees By Kaleb Yiiki

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