MARCH 2, 2010: Amuru Closes More Camps

Amuru Closes More Camps
SOURCE: New Vision
By Chris Ocowun

Kampala — Another 14 internally displaced persons (IDP) camps have been closed in Amuru district.

The camps are; Pabbo, Atyak, Amuru, Awer, Keyo, Parabongo, Pagak, Guru-Guru, Lacor and Pawel in Kilak county and Anaka, Alero, Purongo and Aparanga in Nwoya county.

The camps were closed last week by the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, Edwin Yakobo Komakech.

The head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Gulu, Vanno Noupech, said more than 962,000 IDPs had returned to their villages since 2005.

He said 201,000 persons had left the mother camps and moved to the transit sites near their villages.

Noupech added that in Acholi region, there were 160,000 people still living in camps, saying 10,190 were the most vulnerable.

"Acholi region had 121 IDP camps, 52 of those have been closed and 69 are still being used. There are 10,190 individuals in these camps and they need assistance to enable them return to their villages," Noupech remarked.

He said there was no deadline for the closure of the camps in Acholi as some leaders had said, adding that they hoped by the end of 2010, all the camps would be closed.

Voupech reported that the commission is supporting the most vulnerable individuals who live in grass-thatched huts in their villages.

He added that last year, they supported more than 2,000 people and intend to build about 4,500 more huts this year.

Komakech said to solve the problem of scarcity of water in the return villages, the Government will drill 33 boreholes under the Peace Recovery and Development Plan.

He advised the landowners of the camps that were closed to charge high ground rent to those who refused to return to their villages.