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Uganda: UNHCR Monthly Protection Update – Legal and Physical Protection (January 2019)

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: South Sudan, Uganda

 In the Arua operation, 187 (101 refugees, 86 nationals) crimes were reported. Rhino camp refugee settlement recorded the highest number (115) of cases followed by Imvepi refugee settlement with 60 cases and Lobule with 12 cases. There was a 9% increase in the number of cases between December 2018 and January 2019.

 In the Hoima operation, 111 cases were reported. This was a significant increase compared to 65 cases reported in December 2018. Throughout the month, theft was the highest rising from 22 to 32 cases.

 The Arua operation has 89 (08 Lobule, 39 Imvepi and 42 Rhino) community watch groups comprised of 343 members. The community watch members work in close collaboration with security secretaries on the Refugee Welfare Committee structures of the respective villages.

 In response to the 21st December 2018 violent riots, on the 17th of January 2019, the General Food Distribution (GFD) across Bidibidi settlement took place in Yumbe under the close watch of heavily armed soldiers deployed inside the Food Distribution Points (FDP).
UNHCR raised concerns about the presence of armed soldiers inside the FDPs. UNHCR is working with WFP, the communities and other relevant actors for a safe environment based on collaboration and mutual trust.

 In Yumbe, a general increase in crime has been observed. In Village 5, there was tribal violence between the Kakwa and Nuer on Saturday, 26 January 2019. A meeting to address the violence was held on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 in the presence of UNHCR, OPM, IRC, local and regional police officers, refugee leaders, and representatives of the two tribes, host community leaders and landlords.
Another meeting was held on Wednesday, 30 January 2019, where representatives from the two tribes reconciled. A joint assessment was carried out in the nine homes where property was destroyed in order to make appropriate intervention through NFI distribution.

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 One case of arson was reported in Zone 3 at Yoyo Police Post. Police suspects the refugee acted under the influence drugs and put him custody at Yumbe Central Police Station as IRC Legal Team follow up the case.

 Following rampant and uncontrolled bush burning in Bidibidi, refugees in Yumbe reported prevalence of snakes which resulted in the death of an 11-year-old child. UNHCR, OPM & ARC have scheduled sensitization with community on how to prevent the situation from recurring.

 In Kyangwali; an angry mob in Maratatu village beat a refugee to death on suspicion of practicing “witchcraft”. As a result a community policing program was conducted with MTI in Maratatu A & C. The meeting was attended by 277(165F,112M) PoCs were advised to avoid issue of superstitious beliefs in witchcraft and sensitize the community on the Laws of Uganda, the legality of Witchcraft, domestic violence and parental responsibility regarding medical attention. There is need for continuous sensitization on superstition, medical solutions and parental responsibility to save lives.

 In Adjumani, a monitoring visit to the new protection house in Nyumanzi was conducted on 31st of January. Every household within the protection space was given a house.

 The Adjumani Legal team conducted case management and follow up on 06 cases involving aggravated defilement, assault, murder, and theft. All cases were reported to police and the suspects were apprehended.


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