The Refugee Management Symposium
Centre for Policy Analysis (CEPA) in partnership with Uganda Governance, Accountability, Participation and Performance (GAPP) held a symposium on refugee management on the 17th of July 2019. The symposium attracted different stakeholders from the Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), academia and from the political field to discuss the “Refugee management in Uganda” following a fact-finding study; on the impact of refugee influx on social service delivery in the host communities by CEPA.
Hon Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament who was also guest speaker said that he was in agreement with the findings of the research and largely agreed with the recommendations which had been proposed by CEPA, among which included the review of the policy on refugee management in Uganda. He noted that there was need by Government to set up better management systems of refugees in Uganda He observed that the failure by Government to manage the refugee systems in the country had overwhelmingly burdened the hosting communities leading to conflicts between the refugees and the natives. He wondered how possible it was for refugees to be in a better state and enjoy the same treatment that the Ugandans do. He therefore suggested that there was a need to set up check points at the borders like in Malaba, Busia and at Entebbe airports which would aid the government to track and know who has entered the country and also to help in the management of the refugees.
The deputy speaker told the participants that Uganda Police and Internal Security Organization among other agencies ought to play the role of receiving refugees at various border points before they could hand them over to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Hon. Jacob Oulanyah further informed the participants that he was disappointed that the central government had left the respective districts to enter into bilateral agreements with UNHCR ( which Adjumani district, Chief Administrative Officer, Bayo Gabriel confirmed that they had agreements with UNHCR)l. He noted that the districts lacked the capacity to enter into agreements with these agencies.