Eight dead after refugees and host community fight at Uganda’s Rhino camp

Map of Uganda.PHOTO
Rhino, Uganda – August 09, 2017: Young women transport canisters with water on their head. One of them is carrying a child in a handkerchief on her back. Daily life at the Rhino Refugee Camp Settlement in northern Uganda.(Photo by Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images)

A fight between South Sudanese refugees and their host community at the Rhino Refugee Settlement Camp on Friday night has left at least eight people dead, police authorities in Arua district, Uganda said.

Titus Jogo, the officer in charge of the refugee desk told The East African that the fight was triggered by quarrels over a water source.

According to Jogo, the regional police officer in charge of Rhino told him a host community member was killed in a one on one fight with a refugee.

“After that, the host community mobilized and attacked the camp. He did not confirm whether the eight were refugees or from the host community,” he said.

Jogo added that no arrests had been made but there was heavy police presence in the area.

John Jal Dak, the executive director for Youth Social Advocacy Team, a civil society organization in Rhino camp, said six refugees were confirmed dead.

“We have not confirmed the number of those killed in the host community. Many from the refugees’ side are reportedly missing. Many fled from their homes. Searches are taking place to identify those missing,” said Mr Dak.

According to UNHCR, the Rhino camp is Uganda’s fourth largest refugee settlement area, with a population of 102,000 South Sudanese refugees as of August 2017.

Most of them were displaced by the 2013 and 2016 civil wars in South Sudan.