Thursday, November 20, 2008

Refugees Flee to Uganda

One of the areas I visited while researching Heart of Diamonds was Ishasha in Uganda, which is located about five km (three miles) south of Lake Albert on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. That region is today overrun by refugees from the clashes between Laurent Nkunda's rebel forces and militias backed by the Congolese army.

abandoned hut in Ishasha

"There was an influx of 2,000 people who crossed into Ishasha last evening (Tuesday)," said Roberta Russo, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)in Uganda.
Most of the Congolese in Ishasha wanted to be transported to the Nakivale, a large refugee camp in Uganda's Mbarara district, she added. We traveled through that region, too, just a little over a year ago.

The latest influx brought the total number of refugee arrivals in Uganda since the ceasefire in Congo broke down to more than 14,500. They are part of the estimated 250,000 civilians displaced by the fighting since August.

Dave Donelson, author of Heart of Diamonds a about in the

1 comment:

Joseph Hunkins said...

Very tragic but thanks for the reports on this situation. I'm frustrated by how blind we are in the west to the catastrophes unfolding around the globe on a daily basis, especially in Africa where (estimates vary a lot) tens of thousands die daily from largely preventable disease and (harder to prevent) violence.