Refugees and host community agree to harmonious coexistence

Justice, Peace & Reconciliation
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[Rhino Camp, Uganda, TCT] – South Sudanese refugees in Uganda and host communities in Rhino Camp refugee settlement in Arua District in northeastern Uganda, embraced coexistence and resources sharing to ease unforeseen conflict amid high influx of refugees. Last week, the Community Development Centre (CDC) in collaboration with Centre for Democracy and Development (CEDED) organized a one-day forum that pulled 80 participants from both the host communities and the refugees to discuss cooperation.

[Rhino Camp, Uganda, TCT] – South Sudanese refugees in Uganda and host communities in Rhino Camp refugee settlement in Arua District in northeastern Uganda, embraced coexistence and resources sharing to ease unforeseen conflict amid high influx of refugees. Last week, the Community Development Centre (CDC) in collaboration with Centre for Democracy and Development (CEDED) organized a one-day forum that pulled 80 participants from both the host communities and the refugees to discuss cooperation.

During the dialogue, refugee representatives and officials from host communities voiced rising local conflicts over the utilization of the scarce resources including construction materials, water and schools.

Sebit Martian Kipara, CDC Executive Director, consented that refugees meet numerous challenges and these factors range from denial of firewood, natural landscape, building material, health facilities including other social amenities intricate? relationship with the host communities.

“We organized this forum to increase local community knowledge on local conflict mapping, conflict resolution and peace continuation in order to inculcate peace and reconciliation among locals and refugee communities in the region,” said Kipara in his statement seen by TCT.

Asha Cecilia, a participant from the host community, said lack of understanding and language barriers between the locals and the refugees trigger fights but now since there is dialogue we shall be able to dull such malice.

"Cases that don’t really matter much used to cause chaos among the locals and the refugees but from today forward we shall act as mediators and agents of peace,” she told TCT.

Another participant identified as Malima Charles expressed that the forum has enlightenthem about how to resolve language barriers through engaging refugees and local leaders.

Dusman Evaline, a refugee, told TCT that they have been facing challenges accessing social amenities, but she noted that the dialogue was able to address these issues appropriately, thanks to the organizers.

Both locals and refugees expressed willingness to resolve all sorts of vice amicably.

Peter Amaza, The Deputy Zonal Chairperson for Eden Zone, acknowledged that the dialogue was ‘timely’ and effective in resolving differences.

“Young refugees need proper counseling because they are traumatized by the conflict back home therefore they need psychosocial healing and rehabilitation,” Amaza revealed. He added, “Refugees and local leaders should work hard in restoring hope for young people and turn them to be peace makers.”

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