Over the last few days, at least 974 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have arrived in Uganda through the border at Bundibugyo district.
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"About 664 of them are children and 175 are women," Irene Nakasiita, Uganda Red Cross Society spokesperson, said and added that the greatest worry is not being able to trace some incoming refugees since they go straight to interact with their extended family members and stay there.
As COVID-19 cases escalate, there is also fear that new cases could be imported by the refugees.
"There is a need for access to safe water, food, medical care, COVID-19 prevention services, masks, and handwashing facilities," she said, warning more refugees would cross into the country unless the fighting stops.
Last month, military chiefs of the two neighboring countries held discussions about the deteriorating security situation in Beni North Kivu Province, a region where several militia groups including Uganda's Allied Democratic Forces continue to wreak havoc.
During the last 30 years, eastern Congo has lived in insecurity and violence generated by over 120 irregular armed groups that dispute the control of natural resources.
"Millions have been forced to flee this violence," The Conversation recalled, adding that "over time, armed mobilization turned into a goal in itself; to make money, to express political power, or simply for youth to cope with the chaos. "
Currently, Uganda hosts 1.4 million refugees mainly from South Sudan, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.