South Sudan refugees training on democratic rights, peaceful coexistence

South Sudan refugees training on democratic rights, peaceful coexistence
As South Sudanese refugees continue to flood in Uganda, they are given basic education, especially for children who are part of the majority as a long term measure to ensure better leaders who understand peace more than war. Courtesy Photo.

Government and Relief Agencies are channeling their efforts to educate South Sudanese refugees in Adjumani district on democratic rights and peace coexistence. The South Sudan refugees are spread in 18 settlement camps in Adjumani district.

They include among others Zaipi, Liberty, Ayilo1 and Ayilo2 camps. Titus Jogo, the Refugee Desk Officer Office of the Prime Minister, told journalists Thursday morning at the Pakelle Sub county headquarters that they decided to educate the refugees after realizing that the refugee crisis was triggered by issues to do with elections, democracy and peace.

He says there are deliberate efforts to sensitise the refugees on democratic rights and emphasize peaceful coexistence to ensure a better South Sudan when they return to their country.

The fighting in South Sudan pits the Nuer that are believed to support rebel leader, Riek Machar against the Dinka, who are the majority in the South Sudan government led by General Salvar Kiir. However, the members of the two ethnic groups fleeing the violence found themselves in the same refugee camps in Uganda.

Jogo says they have resorted to conflict resolution mechanism such as encouraging the refugees to greet each other, share whatever little they have and forgive where one person is wronged. Nana Kwakye, the Senior Program Officer United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, says there is ongoing capacity building in the camps although they are limited by funding.

Kwakye explains that the refugees are given basic education, especially for children who are part of the majority as a long term measure to ensure better leaders who understand peace more than war.

He says Ugandans have been so generous by giving support and land to the refugees to cultivate food for their subsistence. He called upon the world to support Uganda in a bid to save refugees.

Uganda hosts 1,252 000 refugees drawn from South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Central African Republic and Somalia among others. Of these 898,000 are from South Sudan because of the violence in the South Sudan capital, Juba.

Fighting broke out in December 2013 between forces loyal to South Sudan, President, Salvar Kiir and his first Vice president Riek Machar. Uganda is scheduled to hold a joint refugee solidarity summit with the United Nations Chief, Antonio Guterres at Speke Resort Munyonyo tomorrow with the aim of raising funds to support the refugees.

URN