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Thousands Evicted from Virunga National Park

What is affected
Land Social/public
Type of violation Dispossession/confiscation
Date 01 August 2005
Region AFF [ Africa francophone ]
Country Democratic Republic of the Congo
Location Virunga National Park

Affected persons

Total 6000
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Details
Development

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

State
Brief narrative UGANDA-DRC: Evicted Ugandans stranded at border in dire need

http://iys.cidi.org/humanitarian/irin/ceafrica/06a/ixl10.html

Hundreds of Ugandans who were evicted from a national park in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are stranded at the border in dire need of relief, a Ugandan minister said on Wednesday.

"They lack food, shelter and medicine. Already we have had reports of many cases of diarrhoea and malaria where they are camped at the border areas of Mpondwe [350 km west of Kampala]," said Christine Amongin Aporu, junior minister in charge of refugees and disaster preparedness. A team had been sent to Mpondwe to assess the conditions of those who had been evicted.

As many as 800 of the estimated 6,000 evictees already had crossed over to Uganda from areas surrounding the Virunga National Park in DRC with about 3,000 heads of cattle, she said. Half of those expelled from the park were women and children.

[Full report: http://irinnews.org/print.asp?ReportID=52504]


UGANDA-DRC: Evicted Ugandans given temporary home

http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=58840

KAMPALA, 26 April 2006 (IRIN) - Hundreds of Ugandans stuck at a border post after being evicted from a national park in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have been given a temporary home as they await resettlement, a Ugandan minister said on Wednesday.

"We have moved them to former government farm grounds as we look for a permanent area to resettle them," said Christine Amongin Aporu, junior minister in charge of refugees and disaster preparedness. "When we visited them recently, the children were coughing and looked tired, but we have agreed with the [UN] World Food Programme [WFP] to provide them with one month`s food while the Uganda Red Cross provides the non-food items."

WFP`s deputy country director in Uganda, Alix Loriston, said the food required had already been distributed to the evictees as the government worked out a plan for their permanent resettlement. "We have finished the distribution of rations to these people," he said.

As many as 800 of the estimated 6,000 evictees had already crossed over to Uganda from areas surrounding Virunga National Park in the DRC with about 3,000 head of cattle, Aporu said. She added that most of those resettled in Kasese were women and children, while the men had camped in western Uganda`s Queen Elizabeth National Park with another 30,000 head of cattle, many of which are reported to be in need of veterinary intervention.

The evictees are believed to have lived in the Busongora area of Kasese district in western Uganda before crossing the border into the DRC in 1998 to look for pasture, while others fled interethnic clashes. Aporu said, however, that the government had not established the reason why they were expelled.

"We need to streamline some of these issues so the people of this region can live side by side," she said.

The minister said a programme to address the health problems of the group had also begun, including immunising and de-worming children. "They also need to go to school and we need to teach them that time has come when they should keep a manageable number of animals," she added.

The group was stranded at a border post as authorities found an alternative place to accommodate them. In March, authorities in the DRC gave the Ugandans until 6 April to leave the national park.


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