The arrival of South Sudanese refugees into Uganda has drastically reduced over the last three months.
According to the statistical data, 112 refugees entered Uganda in October, down from 120 refugees recorded in September, 147 in August and 279 in July. Adjumani District Refugee Desk Officer Titus Jogo says the weekly average has also reduced to 26 refugees mainly entering the country through Elegu border post.
Jogo who also heads Moyo and Lamwo refugee desks attributes the fall to positive anxiety in anticipation of peace after a peace agreement signed South Sudan warring parties in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in September to end the conflict.
The two leaders, Salva Kiir and Dr Riek Marcher met in Juba this week, in a celebration of reconciliation of hope. Kiir said the revitalized peace deal has brought an “immediate end” to the devastating conflict, pointing out that the five-year civil war was a complete betrayal to South Sudanese and the liberation struggle.
A recent report published by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimates that at least 382,900 people have died as a result of the country’s five-year civil war. But Salva Kiir apologized to the people of South Sudan on behalf of all warring parties for their immense suffering due to the conflict and ordered his forces to allow people to move freely.
Joseph Nashion, a South Sudanese who was in Juba twice in the last three months’ attributes to the decline to the relative peace that has prevailed in recent days and lack of money for transport to Uganda and other necessities.
The state Minister For Disaster Preparedness and Refugees in the office of Prime Minister Musa Ecweru says, there are hopes of an additional drop especially after the recent events that proved to be yielding peaceful fruits rather than the tension between the two warring leaders of the world`s youngest country.
The United Nations Refugee agency – UNHCR is yet to release the verified number of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda but figures from Ugandan authorities report that Uganda is hosting over 1.4 million refugees from South Sudan.
The civil war which erupted in 2013 between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those of his former vice president Dr Riek Machar took an ethnic undertone claiming thousands of lives and displacing up to 1.4 million people.