Ethnic tensions rise in Uganda as World Cup row leaves four refugees dead

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Ugandan officials have begun segregating refugees after a rise in ethnic tensions led to the deaths of four South Sudanese, including a teenager.Security agencies have been heavily deployed in northern Uganda’s refugee settlements, home to more than 1 million people, in response to unrest between the warring ethnic groups that have fled conflict in South Sudan. Three men and 13-year-old boy were killed and a further19 injured in a fight that erupted during a disagreement over a seat as South Sudanese refugees watched football in a video hall in a camp in Uganda’s north-western Arua region. The dead and injured were all members of the Dinka community, the tribe of incumbent President Salva Kiir, who became involved in a clash with Nuer tribesmen loyal to rebel leader Riek Machar. According to Josephine Angucia, the West Nile regional police spokesperson, the quarrel began during Sunday’s World Cup match between Brazil and Switzerland and quickly exploded into violence.After the deaths of Thon Majok, 18, his 50 year-old father, Mabok Jimak, John Mayang, 13, and Aleu Anei Aleu, 32, the warring factions have been mobilising for counter and revenge attacks, said Angucia.“The two communities are generally in fear and are anticipating revenge attacks,” she said. “Officials are relocating the two groups to separate camps so as to prevent further clashes.”The civil war that broke out in December 2013, leaving tens of thousands of people dead and nearly 4 million displaced, is between government troops loyal to President Kiir, most of whom are Dinka, and Nuer soldiers, reinforced by poorly armed civilian militia. Teresa Ongaro, regional spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, described the clashes as regrettable.“We regret the loss of lives. This is a security matter. We are working with the national authorities to establish the facts of what happened and how to deal with it,” said Ongaro.Hillary Onek, Uganda’s minister for refugees said: “We don’t accept such barbaric behaviours. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.“Police have been working hard to defuse those clashes in the settlements, together with our people from the ministry.“Maybe we haven’t done enough psychosocial programmes on the ground to calm down the situation and harmonise the relationship between them.“I know in their country they are fighting and killing each other all the time. It’s a routine for them. In their country, they are always at war with each other. We can’t accept it here.”“They need to begin to accept each other and maybe, by the time they go back to their country, they would have reduced the level of tension and violence to live together.” World Cup Since you’re here… Migration and development Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Conflict and arms news Share on Facebook Support The Guardian World Cup 2018 Topics Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger Share via Email South Sudan Uganda Refugees Reuse this contentlast_img

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