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UNHCR Mourns Congolese Refugees Killed in Ibanda Traffic Accident

UNHCR Clarifies on Death of Congolese Children Killed in Ibanda Bus Accident

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UNHCR has clarified on a Thursday morning accident involving one of the buses transporting refugees.

Some 11 buses were transporting 837 Congolese refugees from Kisoro Reception centre to Kyaka ll Refugee Settlement in Kyegegwa District.

Over 77,000 Congolese refugees have crossed Lake Albert and Kisoro into Uganda, fleeing violence in DR Congo.

To help these refugees, the UNHCR has embarked on an exercise to transport them from border areas to Kyaka II and Kyangwali Refugee Settlements.

Since January this year, over 77,000 Congolese who fled violence in their homes and villages have sought refuge in Uganda mainly through Lake Albert and Kisoro.

In a statement, the UN Refugee said two refugee children had died in the traffic accident, contrary to earlier reports that five people had perished.

The deceased were aged four and eight, said UNHCR.

At least 34 other passengers sustained injuries, added the statement.

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), UNHCR, Medical Teams International (MTI) and local police, had rushed those who had sustained minor injuries to Ruhoko Health Centre in Ibanda District.

Nine others who had sustained serious injuries, were also admitted at the Mbarara Referral Hospital.

Ibanda DPC Rogers Chebene attributed the accident to reckless driving.

The driver of the bus carrying 76 refugees had failed to negotiate a corner due to over speeding. Other reports had suggested that the driver was trying to dodge a boda boda.

UNHCR SADDENED BY DEATH OF REFUGEES IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENT

Hassan Dabar, the UNHCR Senior Field Coordinator in Mbarara, was at the scene of the accident.

“We wish to convey our thoughts and prayers to the affected families,” said Dabar.

“UNHCR and its partners stand ready to provide all possible medical care and support to the refugees who are affected by the accident.”

Speaking from Arua UNHCR Representative Joel Boutroue said it was “heart-breaking for refugees who came to Uganda in search of safety to perish in a tragic road accident”.

“This was supposed to be the new chapter of a better life for two young children after fleeing conflict and violence in their home country.”

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