Ikafe Refugee Settlement
In the beginning was the bush...
In 1993, an escalation of the fighting in Sudan between Government forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forced tens of thousands of people to leave their homes in southern Sudan. They fled through the bush, often hungry and frequently in fear of their lives.
Some of them arrived in Koboko, a transit camp on the Ugandan side of the border, hoping that the war in Sudan would end and they would be allowed to return home. Instead, the fighting intensified, and in 1994, the Ugandan Government and UNHCR (the UN agency responsible for refugees) decided that the refugees were too close to the border for safety or security.
Oxfam was asked, at very short notice, to start a settlement for 45,000 refugees in Aringa county, some 70 kilometres to the east of Koboko, and 50 kilometres from the Sudan border. They called it Ikafe.
©Copyright: New Internationalist 1996