Over 8,000 people from the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have crossed to neighboring Uganda seeking refuge following a weekend fight between government troops and rebels.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Uganda office in a tweet on Monday said it received over 3,000 asylum seekers at the Nyakabande Transit Center in the border district of Kisoro.
The refugee agency said a total of 5,451 people are temporarily occupying Bunagana Primary School from where they will be transferred to the Transit Center.
“The government of Uganda, UNHCR, and partners are fast-tracking the relocation of all asylum seekers to settlements,” the refugee agency said.
Esther Anyakun, Minister of State for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, told Xinhua on Sunday that UN agencies and other partners had rushed to the district to offer relief support.
“According to the reports we have so far received, there are many, many refugees who have re-entered the country. The World Food Programme is already on the ground to offer some support,” Anyakun said, adding that the UNHCR has dispatched a team to offer humanitarian assistance.
In March, similar fighting forced over 10,000 Congolese to flee to Uganda, according to UNHCR figures.