Elisha Z. Bwanika
South Sudanese refugees at Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement Camp have on Sunday destroyed 10 United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees vehicles.
Bidibidi is a camp in northwestern Uganda with over 270,000 South Sudanese refugees. As of 2017, refugees fleeing the ongoing civil war in South Sudan made it the largest refugee settlement in the world.
On Sunday, the refugees, blamed hunger for the destruction, which spread to World Food Programme offices, plus office equipment, according to Hafiz Bakhit.
The refugees were also protesting an alleged halt in food distribution following what they termed as ‘an unnecessary 10kilometer walk to the food distribution centre.’
The camp has previously been hit by ghost refugee and fraud scandals.
An audit of refugee numbers in Uganda recently revealed that there are 300,000 ghost refugees. The joint investigation by the government and UNHCR, showed that Uganda hosts only 1.1 million refugees.
The probe followed allegations that officials were defrauding donors by inflating refugee numbers and diverting food aid.
In October, a verification exercise, which started in March, was concluded, with aid agencies rolling out new food assistance collection procedures in effort to curb fraud and diversion of the food and relief items.
The Office of the Prime Minister, UNHCR and WFP are yet to respond.