Religious Leaders Calling On Refugees In Uganda To Embrace Peace

Religious leader have called on South Sudanese refugees living in several parts of West Nile region to avoid further conflicts and ensure that they live in peace with the host communities.

Religious Leaders Calling On Refugees In Uganda To Embrace Peace
Bishop of Arua Catholic Diocese, Rt Rev Sabino Ocan Odoki during Holy mass on Sunday [Photo|Paul Night]

By Paul Night

MOYO, 14 December 2017 [Gurtong]-
Refugees in the settlements have in most cases engaged in fights especially at water points and food distribution centers.

Faith based leaders in the region are now calling on the refugees to live in peace, harmony and love one another.

The call was made on Sunday when the Bishop of Arua Catholic Diocese, Rt Rev Sabino Ocan Odoki was celebrating Holy mass with Christians at Palorinya Catholic Chapel in Moyo district.
He urged the office of the Prime Minister for Refugees’ Affairs and UNHCR to make sure that the refugees do not interfere with the Peace of the host communities.

The locals depend on farming as their sources of livelihood and share what they have with the Refugees according to the Bishop.

"It is painful to see these children; women suffer without anyone to cater for their well-being or providing the required necessities of life,” said Bishop Odoki.

“Education for a culture of peace through the family and institutions is the key to peaceful co-existence and taking each other as part of your life is a human value not just learned, but instilled in our hearts as human beings. When people fight and kill each other they lack the culture of peace and co-existence amongst brethren. I wish to reaffirm that the various peacemakers are called to cultivate a passion for the common good of the family and social Justice and a commitment to effective social education,” elaborated Bishop Odoki during the mass.

Odoki note that religious communities are involved in a special way in the immense task of education for Peace in the refugees settlements.

"The church believes that we share in this great responsibility as part of the new evangelization, he said.

Patrick Wani 56, one of the urban Refugees in Moyo town, applauded the government of Uganda and locals for allowing refugees in Uganda.

“South Sudanese refugees here are living in peace and we are happy for that. The refugees should submit to the government of Uganda and agencies like OPM, UNHCR and other implementing partners because they are the ones giving services to us. So they should stay in peace and we are coming from a place of war and normally when you come from a place of war you may think that where you are coming to is the same but let them enjoy the peace in Uganda."

Conflicts between refugees and the host communities are rampant in almost all the settlements particularly at water points and when collecting fire wood.

Such conflicts arise mostly among women and children. Although this conflicts are not to a bigger extend, authorities in the camps including the village leaders themselves who are South Sudanese call it minor or isolated cases.


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