Democratic Republic of Congo Ambassador to South Sudan Ilume Tembele Rene (Right) with the Western Equatoria State Governor Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro (Left) in a meeting. [Gurtong |Joseph Nashion]
By Joseph Nashion
YAMBIO, 28 September 2012 [Gurtong]- Ambassador Ilume said visited Yambio to find out about the allegations of mistreatment of Congolese refugees and the status of the Congolese citizens detained in South Sudan prisons.
He added that many refugees complain about the police not allowing them to visit the markets to buy or sell but are restricted to camps.
The governor said refugees were supposed to be in the camps as agreed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“We agreed last time that the refugees are to stay in the camp, if one wants come to the town should get a permit from UNCHR,” he said.
Ilume said some of the refugees have started going back to Congo using their own means but the temporary closure of the border has stopped most of them.
He also requested the state governor to allow him visit the prisons of the state to find out the fate those Congolese who have been arrested.
The governor mentioned that those in prison are those residing in town, who has committed crimes like any other person who can face the law.
He said the role of the state government is to protect the status of the refuges but their food ratio is the responsibility UNCHR.
Governor Bakosoro said most of the petty crimes in the state are caused by Congolese but it does not mean that all Congolese are criminals.
There are more than 27,000 Congolese refugees in Makpandu settlement camp in Yambio County. Most of them fled from the insurgences of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) aggression in their country since 2006.