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Congolese refugees arrested for selling relief items

Police in Hoima have arrested three Congolese refugees on allegations of theft and selling of relief items.  

Julius Hakiza, the Albertine region police spokesperson says that the suspects, who escaped from Kyangwali refugee settlement area, were arrested after a tip-off from traders that they were selling blankets, mattresses, saucepans and basins, which had been donated to refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

A UNHCR official watches as a consignment of relief aid gets airlifted to Uganda recently

Hakiza says that the three; whose names he did not reveal for fear of jeopardising investigations, stole the items from fellow refugees.    


Hakiza says police has several times received information of refugees selling most of the donated relief items in the areas of Kiryatete, Lusaka, Bujumbura and Kijungu in Hoima. 
A recent mini-survey by UNHCR in Kyangwali revealed that items bearing logos of humanitarian agencies are cheaply sold to communities. Some of the items include food, mats, blankets, delivery kits and detergents.

The World Food Programme and other humanitarian agencies provide the food and other non-food items to every refugee family head, depending on the number of dependents he or she has.