ADJUMANI. A total of five people have been confirmed dead while over 500 residents fled to the neighbouring Moyo district following clashes between refugees and host communities of Nyumanzi refugee settlement in Dzaipi sub-county, Adjumani district.
Police has identified the dead as Stephen Amanzuru, Julius Anyanzo, 32 and Emmanuel Ofuru Baru, all Ugandan nationals while the two; Thong Malou, 40 and Lual Mabut Lwal, 32, are South Sudan nationals and residents of Nyumanzi refugee settlement.
Others who sustained severe injuries have been admitted at various health facilities in the district.
The police report indicates that at least 19 people have so far been arrested in connection to the clashes.
The violence is said to have erupted last Wednesday night when one, late Stephen Amanzuru, a local chapati maker was suddenly discovered dead in the settlement.
As a result, the host community suspected that he might have been killed by the refugees thus revenging.
In the process, over 500 residents from the host community of Dzaipi sub-county crossed River Nile and are taking refuge at Dufele sub-county in Moyo district.
While addressing journalists over the weekend, the Adjumani resident district commissioner (RDC) Mr Peter Taban said two of the injured who sustained serious injuries have been referred to Mulago hospital in Kampala.
On Thursday, angry residents blocked the Adjumani-Kampala road by burning tires, forcing heavy deployment of Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) in the area.
The RDC also confirmed that one UPDF officer was in the process shot by an arrow and a police officer also got injured.
He, however, appealed for calm between the two communities as security forces continue to restore peace in the area.
Ms Margaret Mindra, 35, a mother of 6, who is camping at the RDC’s office said she survived being killed but fled with nothing to feed her children on. She said the incident got them unaware.
She said they have always been living in fear and that sometimes it’s difficult for them to access trading centres as a section of some refugees lay ambushes and road blocks for them at night.
Mr Bior Ngon, the secretary for the refugee welfare council (RWC) III condemned the violent acts, saying they were barbaric and called for his colleague refugees to desist from the practices.
“It is the war that brought us to Uganda, it is unfair to engage in another fight with people who have been hosting us since 2013,” Ngom said.
The regional police spokesperson Ms Josephine Angucia said both communities have now been sensitized on not to believe in rumours but report all security threats to security forces for proper investigations.