Refugees in Arua riot over food, disarm police guard

Refugees at Omugo resettlement centre. FILE PHOTO/World Vision

Refugees at Omugo resettlement centre. FILE PHOTO/World Vision

Refugees in Omugo reception centre in Arua district have staged a strike to protest against the little food given to them. The refugees rampaged on Wednesday evening and disarmed a special police constable deployed at the centre.
They also took hostage some of the service providers. Josephine Angucia, the West Nile Region Police spokesperson, says it took the intervention of police from Arua town to calm down the situation, recover the fire arm and rescue the service providers. But no one was injured, Angucia said. 

According to Angucia, the refugees who were waiting for relocation to Rhino Camp settlement had earlier complained about the little food distributed to them.
"The Office of the Prime Minister and UNHCR are planning to distribute more food to the refugees later today," she said. This is the second time this year; refugees in Omugo have rioted over food. Two months ago, refugees in Imvepi and Omugo blocked World Vision from accessing their stores to distribute food.

They beat up some of the staff accusing them of not giving them food for almost two months and ransacked the food stores. It took the deployment of police officers from Arua town to calm down the situation and apprehend the masterminds of the chaos.

Refugee agencies are struggling to keep up with the rising number of refugees. More than 20 South Sudan refugees report to Omogo refugee reception center each day where they are kept for three days before being relocated to Rhino camp and other settlement camps.


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