The violence that left 10 refugees dead and 19 injured, including one member of the host community in the northern region of Uganda has saddened and alarmed UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
According to information received by the agency on Friday, September 11, a dispute between locals and refugees near a shared water point quickly escalated into a violent attack against refugees at the Tika village in Rhino refugee settlement, where refugees from South Sudan reside.
In addition to the high number of casualties, 15 refugee houses were burnt to the ground and another 26 are confirmed to have been looted and vandalised.
UNHCR is deeply concerned about the safety of ten refugees who remain missing and call upon authorities to search for them immediately.
UNHCR also offer their condolences to the families of the deceased and wish a quick recovery for those people who were injured.
“The disproportionate violent reaction by the host community to a communal dispute signals a threat to the delicate balance of peaceful coexistence in the rural villages where refugees live alongside their Ugandan hosts,” said Joel Boutroue, the UNHCR Representative in Uganda.
“In an environment of scarcity of resources, tragic incidents such as that of last Friday are alarming, as both the host and refugee communities face increased hardships and decreased access to basic services and livelihoods.”
Boutroueurge for calm and said the agency is working with the authorities to ensure that additional security measures are adopted, and that the deadly incident is investigated to help clarify the circumstances.
UNHCR has immediately deployed teams on the ground to support refugees who are deeply traumatized by the attack and work with government counterparts and partners to respond to the needs of those affected while also initiating reconciliatory efforts. (Source: UNHCR)