As the delegates from UN, humanitarian agencies and governments’ representatives arrive in Kampala today for the global solidarity summit on refugees on Friday, the Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) has urged world leaders to reiterate their collective responsibility to end violence and instabilities. CCEDU, an umbrella non-governmental organization for groups advocating for electoral democracy, states that violence and instabilities are the main causes of refugee outflows.

“Beyond pledging support, participating delegates from across the world should make use of the summit to reiterate their collective responsibility to ending violence and instability, which are the main causes of refugee outflows,” CCEDU, notes in a statement issued by its coordinator, Crispin Kaheru.

The summit, the organization says, should be a major milestone to change the narrative ‘from mere humanitarian assistance to long-term development of refugee host countries like Uganda.' “Aware that each one of us is a candidate for asylum seeking in one way or another, let this summit be an inspiration for each of us to contribute in our own humble ways to the cause of refugees who are hosted in Uganda,” it states. Currently hosting over 1.2 million refugees of which 900,000 are South Sudanese.

Uganda needs $8b (sh28 trillion) to continue caring for the displaced and host communities in the next four years. Others are from DRC, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Uganda is seeking to raise $2b (sh7.1 trillion) at the summit to be jointly hosted by President Yoweri Museveni and UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres.

A fresh flow of South Sudanese refugees into Uganda through the northern region started last July following renewed fighting between two factions of government forces – one loyal to president Salva Kiir and another backing his vice Riek Machar. A fresh conflict propagated along tribal lines erupted hardly a year after Kiir and Machar signed a comprehensive agreement in August 2015 to end the fighting that started in December 2013.

The unending fighting between forces under the command of the two principals in the country’s divisive politics has wrecked the early years of political independence of the world’s newest nation and denied her a chance to enjoy the fruits of self-rule achieved from Sudan in 2011.

About 3.5 million people have been forced out of their homes and thousands killed in the brutal conflict in a country blessed with minerals, including huge petroleum deposits, but cursed with selfish leaders.

But the endless stream of South Sudan refugees since last July into Uganda has stretched service delivery to breaking point in the host communities, and threatened to erode the generosity of Ugandans towards the exiles. With about 2,000 refugees arriving in Uganda from South Sudan every day, it is expected that the country will receive a further 400,000 exiles by the end of the year.

Story Published by The Newvision

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