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UGANDA: 2017 End of Year Report – December – 2017 Burundi – Regional RRP REPORTfrom UN High Commissioner for Refugees

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In 2017, some 5,312 new refugees from Burundi sought safety in Uganda, citing threats and abuses by members of the Imbonerakure militia, killings and enforced disappearances of family members as well as gang rapes, torture and illegal detention as reasons for fleeing their country of origin. They entered Uganda transiting through Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. The vast majority crossed through the entry points of Mirama Hills (Ntungamo district), Bugango (Isingiro district), Mutukula (Rakai district) and Bunagana (Kisoro district).

By 31 December 2017, the number of Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda reached 39,658, of which 72 percent were women and children. Nearly all Burundians reside in Nakivale settlement, with smaller numbers living in Kampala, Kyaka II settlement, and Oruchinga settlement.
In 2017, no Burundian refugees expressed any intention to return home.

In May 2017, the government of Uganda revoked the prima facie status for Burundian asylum seekers, effective 1 June 2017. This decision has in practice delayed access to asylum procedures in Nakivale, bringing the number of Burundians awaiting refugee status determination interviews by the Refugee Eligibility Committee (REC) to 2,389.

UNHCR continued to engage with the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to review the procedure of land allocation for asylum seekers and expedite the work of the REC.

In line with the 2006 Refugee Act, Burundian refugees benefit from the same favourable protection environment as refugees of other nationalities, including access to documentation and national services, freedom of movement, right to work and establish businesses.

In the settlements, Burundian refugees received monthly food rations, household items and access to health care, education, water and sanitation facilities and protection services. They are also allocated a plot of land for housing and farming. In urban areas, the most vulnerable receive targeted assistance from partners.

Critical underfunding affected the ability of partners to invest more in skills development training and job opportunities for Burundian refugees as well as education, especially at a secondary level. In Navikale, Kyaka II and Oruchinga settlements, only 10 percent of Burundian pupils of secondary school age were enrolled in secondary education.

In early 2017, Uganda launched the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), embracing together under one umbrella all existing initiatives, mechanisms and policies seeking to address the needs of refugees and host communities in Uganda.

The President of Uganda and the UN Secretary General convened in June 2017 at the Solidarity Summit on Refugees in Kampala to rally international support for refugees and their host communities, raising US $520 million in pledges.

Following serious allegations of fraud and corruption within the refugee response, UNHCR and WFP reached out to the Government in late 2017 to seek cooperation in addressing growing concerns about the accuracy and reliability of refugee data. In acknowledging this posed to realizing a comprehensive refugee response, the government and UNHCR agreed to launch a verification of all refugees in Uganda in 2018 through the use of UNHCR biometric systems. —— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: May 15, 2018 at 10:48AM

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