South Sudanese refugees who fled to Northern Uganda from the Yei River area over massive human rights abuses in the recent months have expressed unwillingness to return home despite claims by the Yei River Governor that the area is witnessing drastic improvement on peace and stability.
David Lokonga Moses says the security situation in the area has drastically improved for the last one month following the deployment of experienced National Security soldiers to the state. He reportedly said that the current security forces are friendly and cooperative with the local population compared to the previous forces.
He appealed to both the internally displaced persons within and outside Yei to come back to their homes and begin cleaning up their abandoned residences to prevent outbreak of fire during the dry season.
A woman refugee in the northern camp of Adjumani who spoke to Radio on condition of anonymity criticized the governor’s call saying they will go back pending instructions from the UN, not from the governor.
“I think the governor is talking like a child because he did not feel the pain under which we have arrived to Uganda. Let him personally come to the camp and tell this huge population to go back to Yei, I assure you that marks the end of life on the earth,” she said.
“We are not ready to now because we came through a painful situation and we have gotten refugee status and we shall stay here until the UN says Yei and South Sudan is now safe for us to go back home,” she said.
Meanwhile, Thomas Malish, also a refugee, disagreed with the governor’s call. He blamed the governor for failing to avert the mass exit right from day one.
“The governor should have resigned right from the beginning of this mess if he wanted the people to remain in Yei now after having settled as a refugee he says we should get back, what about if another fighting started what will he do when he has failed to prevent it in July and August when the situation went out of hand?” he added.
He recommended to the state leadership to apply all possible mechanisms to see that that peace is restored in Yei.
“We all needed peace so that we get back, but we are not sure of peace and stability now because we don’t know what will happen tomorrow. I want the governor to ensure that there is total peace and no killings before calling on people to come home.”